TRIPOLI, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Libya has extended Zueitina Oil Company’s concession to operate its oilfields for another 25 years, a document signed by Prime Minister Abdurrahim El-Keib showed.
The company, a subsidiary of Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC), was established in 1986 to operate Libyan oil assets that Occidental Petroleum had to abandon following U.S. sanctions against late leader Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.
Deputy Oil Minister Omar Shakmak told Reuters on Friday the length of the original Zueitina contract was for 25 years, consistent with a Libyan law that set the timeframe. The concessions were set to expire in 2011, during which an eight-month conflict toppled Gaddafi.
The document dated Feb 5 and posted on Zuetina’s website formalises a government letter of intent dated Jan 1 to extend the contract.
Occidental and Austria’s OMV have stakes in joint ventures with Libya’s NOC that fall under Zueitina’s umbrella.
Zueitina restarted production in October at a rate of about 30,000 barrels per day, about half of its pre-war output. (Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian and Ali Shuaib; editing by James Jukwey)