Libya approves Total's purchase of stake in Waha concessions

FILE PHOTO: The logo of French oil giant Total is pictured at a petrol station in Bordeaux, France, November 13, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

CAIRO (Reuters) - Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Tuesday it had approved the purchase by France’s Total of Marathon Oil’s stake in the country’s Waha concessions.

The French company committed to invest $650 million to increase production by around 180,000 barrels per day (bpd), NOC said in a statement.

NOC had been examining the $450 million deal for the 16.33 percent stake in Waha, which closed in March 2018, and considering whether to intervene.

“After successful negotiations with Total, I am pleased to report that NOC approves this deal,” the statement quoted NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla as saying.

He gave two reasons for the approval, the first of which was the investment commitment and the second a $150 million signing bonus to be paid by Total and allocated to corporate social responsibility. NOC owns 59.18% of the Waha concessions. Other stakeholders are ConocoPhillips with 16.33% and Hess Corp with 8.16%.

Reporting by Nayera Abdallah; Writing by Yousef Saba; Editing by David Evans, Kirsten Donovan