January 13, 2009 / 5:28 PM / 10 years ago

Libya gains $5.4 bln from altering oil deals

TRIPOLI, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Libya hasd earned $5.4 billion in additional oil revenues from changes of contracts with four foreign companies last year, state-owned National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Tuesday.

“The changes of deals with four companies yielded 2.4 billion extra earnings to the Libyan side for the period between the beginning of 2008 until the end of September,” it said in a report assessing annual results from the oil sector for 2008.

The report, on the NOC Website, named the companies with which the deals dating back to the 1970s had been revised as Italian oil and gas compnay ENI (ENI.MI), Petro-Canada PCA.TO and two consortiums led respectively by U.S. Occidental (OXY.N) and Spain’s Repsol (REP.MC).

The changes made to the contracts include among other measures slashing their production shares to 10 percent or 15 percent, NOC said.

NOC’s report did not specify the stakes held by foreign partners before the changes but said foreign firms made upfront payments.

“On top of the additional revenues of $2.4 billion from deal changes, the four companies accepted to pay a total of $3 billion as up-front payments,” NOC added in the report.

NOC said negotations were underway with other unnamed companies to reach similar changes which would boost oil earnings further.

OPEC member Libya plans to nearly double crude oil production by 2012 with an investment of $30-$40 billion. It pumps about 1.7 million barrels per day of oil.

It also wants to become a major natural gas producer and aims to increase production to 3 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) by 2010, with a potential for 3.8 bcfd by 2015, compared with 2.7 bcfd now. (Writing by Lamine Ghanmi; Editing by William Hardy)

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