Tripoli, 1 November:
BP confirmed it will drill 17 new wells as part of its exploration program in Libya. Five will be offshore and 12 onshore.
“We have lifted force majeure and started the programme ” Jasper Peijs, BP’s exploration manager-eastern hemisphere told a African oil conference in Cape Town. He did not say when drilling would commence, but in September, the company said it would start its $2 billion deep-sea drilling programme in 2013 under its joint Exploration and Production (E&P) agreement with the National Oil Corporation (NOC).
NOC officials also say drilling will start next year.
Following a new agreement with the NOC in May this year, BP announced that it was resuming operations in Libya, suspended during the revolution when it evacuated its expatriate staff. At the time BP announced that by lifting the force majeure suspension, it indicated that “Libya is now safe enough for us to restart operations.” During the uprising, however, it continued to pay Libyan staff who kept its bases on standby. It originally won its othe EPSA in 2007.
“Offshore we have acquired 17,000 square kilometers of 3-D seismic in the Sirte Basin, another commitment to five exploration wells and onshore we’ve acquired 14,000 square kilometers of 3-D in the Ghadames Basin and have a commitment of 12 exploration wells,” Peijs said in Cape Town.
When BP announced that it was lifting the force majeure suspension in May, it also said that it could spend $20 billion in Libya over the next 20 years developing its operations. It said it had already spent $900 million between 2007 and 2011. [/restrict]