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Libya Eyes First Oil And Gas Licensing Round In Two Decades

Libya will be ready to hold an oil and gas licensing round next year, Libya's state-run oil company chief said at CERAWeek, according to Argus.

If Libya does manage to hold a licensing round next year, it would be its first in nearly two decades, and would help Libya reach its production goal of 2 million barrels per day within the next three years. Libya's crude oil production in January fell to 1.148 million bpd, after averaging 1.153 million bpd in the fourth quarter of last year, OPEC data showed in its latest Monthly Oil Market Report.

A report by the African Energy Chamber last month said that Libya's crude oil production capacity could reach a maximum of 1.8 million bpd by 2024. And that's even if Libya sees political stability and dual government clashes come to an end. Still, the Libyan Government of National Unity insists that the country could produce as much as 3 million bpd within two to three years.

Libya has made some progress in paving the way for boosting gas production, including signing an $8 billion offshore gas deal with Eni, and Eni's and BP's exploration drilling plans in the Ghadames and Sirte basins—with offshore drilling planned for next year.

Libya's NOC chief Ben Guadara is adamant that the Eni deal is "just the first step in a long way for more and more investment."

Guadara also spoke of a possible LNG liquefaction plant and a gas pipeline to Egypt with tie-ins to the Idku facility and Damietta terminals, Argus said.

Libya's gas output is currently at 1.3 billion cubic feet per day, with just 250 million cubic feet per day of it able to be exported through the 775 million cubic feet per day Greenstream pipeline, as much of the gas must go to fulfill Libya's own domestic gas needs.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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