CAIRO, Dec 23 (Reuters) – Libya does not expect to issue any new oil concession licences in 2011, the chairman of its National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Thursday.
Libya has not held an oil and gas licensing round for several years, although it has signed exploration and production licenses with individual companies.
Asked in Cairo if Libya would issue new oil concessions next year, NOC Chairman Shokri Ghanem said: “No I don’t think so. For the moment, no.”
Foreign firms signed up to a series of exploration and production licences in 2005, the first time they had been able to invest since sanctions on Libya, a former international outcast, were lifted.
Discoveries have been modest and energy companies have had to deal with a political and regulatory environment which could be unpredictable.
Companies investing in Libya include BP (BP.L), ExxonMobil (XOM.N), ENI (ENI.MI), ConocoPhillips (COP.N) and Marathon Oil (MRO.N).
Ghanem has said previously he wanted to focus on developing the concessions already allocated and that he wanted to see global energy demand recover before committing to a new licensing round. (Reporting by Shaimaa Fayed in Cairo; Additional reporting by Christian Lowe in Algiers; Writing by Tom Pfeiffer; editing by Barbara Lewis)