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TotalEnergies ready to invest billions of dollars in Libyan projects

TotalEnergies (France) has announced plans to invest billions of dollars in Libya’s oil industry, which has succeeded in boosting production levels considerably since the signing of a ceasefire agreement last year.

Patrick Pouyanné, the CEO of TotalEnergies, outlined his plans at the Libya Energy & Economic Summit in Tripoli on November 22, saying that his company was ready to support efforts to increase production. TotalEnergies intends to pump $2bn into the Waha oilfields and anticipates that the project will raise the North African country’s crude output by 100,000 barrels per day (bpd), he said.

Pouyanné also reported that his company was set to increase its stake in Waha now that Libya’s Government of National Unity (GNU) has authorised Hess (US) to sell its own 8.16% stake in the fields to ConocoPhillips (US) and TotalEnergies. He did not say how the stake would be divided, but S&P Global Platts quoted anonymous sources close to the matter as saying that ConocoPhillips and TotalEnergies would both add 4.08% to their current holdings of 16.3% each.

The Waha oilfields are located in the eastern Sirte basin in central Libya. They are capable of yielding up to 400,000 bpd and are operated by a subsidiary of Libya’s National Oil Corp. (NOC).

Pouyanné also said at the conference that the French major hoped to boost yields at the Mabruk field in central Libya and will help build a 500-MW solar farm to provide electricity to the site and surrounding areas. He did not divulge the value of this project.

TotalEnergies was not the only European major to affirm its continued interest in Libya on November 22. Alessandro Puliti, the COO of Italy’s Eni, said at the Libya Energy & Economic Summit that his company had already invested more than $10bn in the country’s oil and gas sector and was committed to the development of its resources. “Libya is a very significant remaining oil and gas prospect, and Eni is ready to support this development,” he declared.

Puliti did not say whether Eni was considering any new projects, but he did state that the Italian company had responded to the rise in demand for natural gas inside Libya. “In the past years, we have [shifted] increasing shares of gas production from export to the domestic market to fulfil domestic market demand,” he said. “This clearly demonstrates the utmost attention we have paid to the economic and industrial development of Libya.”

Libya is currently producing around 1.2mn bpd of crude oil. The North African country saw output levels fall from nearly 1mn bpd to less than 100,000 bpd in the first half of 2020, owing to intensified fighting between the country’s two largest political factions, the Libyan National Army (LNA) and the Government of National Accord (GNA). Yields began rising, however, after the LNA and GNA signed a permanent ceasefire in October 2020 and proceeded to establish an interim government.