Germany’s Wintershall ‘eyes Libya assets’

25 May 2015, News Wires – Germany’s Wintershall is reported to be looking at the possible acquisition of Libyan assets from Occidental Petroleum, despite civil unrest that has disrupted oil and gas activities in the strife-torn North African country.

LibyaHouston-based Occidental has sought and obtained permission from Libya’s state-run National Oil Company (NOC) to allow Wintershall access to confidential data for fields it partly owns, Libyan officials were quoted as saying by the Wall Street Journal.

Neither Occidental or Wintershall would comment on the claim.

The US independent has been trying to sell off up to a 40% stake in its Middle East and North African assets since October 2013 as it seeks to focus on prolific North American acreage, but so far without success.

Occidental currently participates with NOC in several oilfields in Libya’s Sirte basin that have produced only insignificant volumes for the company, as well as a number of onshore exploration blocks.

The country’s oil and gas production has been hit by fighting among warring political factions that have emerged after the ouster of late dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, resulting in attacks on oil facilities – most recently the bombing of an oil tanker docked off Sirte by government warplanes.

Wintershall was late last year forced to halt production from its eight onshore oilfields in concessions C96 and C97 in the eastern Sirte basin, where it is partnered by Russia’s Gazprom, as well as evacuate expatriate staff due to the fighting.

In addition, the company has a share in production from the Al-Jurf platform in offshore block C137, operated by a joint venture of Total and NOC, and also holds exploration licence C201 in the south-east of the country.



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