Total will begin exploratory drilling off the North African country once it receive a rig which is undergoing testing in Croatia, Reuters reported on Monday.
“We hope it will start making its way towards the exploration area in Libya next week to start drilling operations at some point in mid-May,” the news wire quoted Bernard Avignon, managing director of the company’s Libyan operation, as saying on the sidelines of a conference in Tripoli.
“We hope to discover more gas, we have already discovered gas in that area,” he continued, according to Reuters.
“We would like to have a clearer vision of the last parts of the concession that have not been explored, with the aim of doing some exploration drilling at the end of 2014, beginning 2015,” he said.
Libyan deputy prime minister Awad al-Baraasi said a week ago that Libya restored its production to rates last seen before the start of the country’s civil war in 2011.
Baraasi did not specify a figure for Libya’s current production, which ran to 1.7 million barrels per day before the conflict erupted.
Last November, the chairman of Libya’s National Oil Corporation said it aimed to boost oil output to 1.72 million barrels per day by the end of March but warned strikes could interrupt production.
In February, Oil Minister Abdelbari Arusi said that pre-war output levels were targeted for the end of 2013.
Last month, the country pumped 1.325 million barrels per day, according to a survey of industry and official sources conducted by Dow Jones Newswires.
Libya, holder of Africa’s biggest crude reserves, has fast recovered its oil production since the overthrow and killing of former leader Muammar Gaddafi but foreign operators still complain of infrastructure constraints, tough contract terms and persistent insecurity.