(Reuters) - Violence and unrest that has swept the Middle East and North Africa gripped Tripoli on Monday, capital of Libya, an OPEC member that produces 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd).
The news helped to push oil prices above $105 a barrel.
Foreign oil companies were reassessing operations in the country, and oil had reportedly stopped flowing at the Nafoora oilfield in Libya’s Sirte basin, according to Al Jazeera, although few details were available.
The following lists oil and gas companies present in Libya.
Wintershall, the oil and gas exploration arm of chemical company BASF, said on Monday it was preparing to wind down oil production in Libya and fly out international staff in response to unrest.
A statement by the Kassel, Germany-based firm said it was making preparations to fly out some 130 people of German, Dutch, Canadian, British and other nationalities and their families to ensure their security.
In accordance with its local partner, Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC), Wintershall is taking steps to gradually close oil production, which currently is up to 100,000 barrels per day, it said.
The Tripoli office of Wintershall will be temporarily unstaffed except for a small core staff, it said.
BP on Monday said it had suspended preparations for drilling in Libya, but a spokesman added it was years away from production there.
The drilling would be the first under a $900 million deal BP signed with Libya in 2007, which BP said at the time was its largest single exploration commitment.
Royal Dutch Shell said it had temporarily relocated the dependents of expatriate staff outside Libya and was monitoring the situation.
Shell signed a deal with the Libyan government in 2005 to explore and develop five areas in the Sirte basin and was also awarded a gas exploration permit in 2007.
Its current operations in Libya are limited to exploration.
OMV said on Monday none of its operations in Libya had been affected by the unrest there but added it was withdrawing expatriate staff from the country.
Libya is one of OMV’s most important oil suppliers and provides around 34,000 bpd.
Italian oil and gas group Eni is repatriating its non-essential staff from Libya and does not see any impact on its output in the country following the current political unrest.
“At the moment no problems at plants and operational facilities have been reported,” it said in a statement on Monday.
Japan’s largest refiner in 2005 struck an offshore exploration and production-sharing agreement with Libya that also included Mitsubishi Corp. and Japan Petroleum Exploration (JAPEX), which said it would invest $48 million in exploration over five years.
Mitsubishi Corp and Japan Petroleum Exploration (Japex) said none of their Japanese employees were currently in Libya.
ExxonMobil in February 2008 agreed with Libya’s national oil company to invest $97 million plus tens of millions in fees in offshore hydrocarbon exploration.
The company in 2005 struck an exploration and production-sharing deal with Libya’s state oil company that covers the Cyrenaica Basin, covering 2.5 million acres, from deep to shallow waters.
The company began business in Libya in 1966.
In late 2007 it won gas-focused permits to explore areas of Libya’s Sirte basin, and in 2005 was the biggest winner in Libya’s first licensing round.
Polish gas monopoly PGNiG said on Monday it would pull all 30 of its employees out of Libya due to the unrest and violence that has swept Tripoli.
Libya’s state-owned oil corporation ratified a gas exploration agreement in February 2008 with the Polish company to drill at least eight wells at a cost of $108 million in the Murzuq Basin over six years.
It aims to begin drilling the first two exploration wells in 2012.
The company has a 12 percent stake in the concession and hopes to reach an annual gas production of 1 billion cubic meters.
The Russian company is taking 50 percent of ENI’s stake in Libya’s elephant oil field, valued at $170 million.
The company was awarded a gas exploration license in 2007 for areas in the Ghadames Basin.
The German energy company made two new oil discoveries in the Sirte Basin in 2008, only a year after its first oil discovery in the basin.
It agreed to spend at least $76 million and drill two exploration wells in Syrenica basin blocks it won access to in late 2007.
The Algerian state energy firm won three blocks in the first gas-focused exploration licensing round in 2009 and discovered oil in the Ghadames Basin in 2009.
In December 2005 the consortium of ConocoPhillips, Amerada Hess and Marathon agreed to pay Libya $1.3 billion to extend their contracts in the Sirte Basin and return to its former oil and gas production operations.
The contracts were concluded before the sanctions were imposed, but the U.S. companies left Libya in 1986 after U.S. sanctions were imposed.
The Brazilian company was awarded licences for exploring offshore in January 2005. A senior executive with Libya’s NOC state energy firm said in October that Petrobras was among other companies that had agreed to extend its license.
Statoil participates in land-based oil production and exploration activities in the Mabruk field and in the Murzuk basin.
A spokesman said it was keeping its office in Tripoli closed and that a “handful of expatriates” were leaving the country.
Total holds a 75 percent stake in two fields -- Mabruk with production of 19,000 bpd, and Al Jurf with 31,000 bpd.
“We are doing our maximum to ensure the safety of our employees,” a spokesman said, but declined to comment further for safety reasons.
For 2009, Total reported production capacity of 60,000 bpd in Libya out of its global production of 2.28 million bpd.
Reporting by Patryk Wasilewski in Warsaw; Vera Eckert in Frankfurt; Wojciech Moskwa in Oslo, Muriel Boselli in Paris, Catherine Ngai, Barbara Lewis in Dubai, Dmitry Zhdannikov, Sarah Young and Alex Lawler in London and Osamu Tsukimori in Tokyo, editing by Jane Baird