Wintershall to carry out Sirte exploration in Libya at own cost: NOC

CAIRO (Reuters) - Energy company Wintershall’s Sirte basin oil concessions in Libya have converted to EPSA IV format and will take retroactive effect from January 2008, Libyan National Oil Corporation said in a statement on Thursday.

Wintershall will pay $150 million for corporate social responsibility and development as part of the deal and will carry out exploration at its own cost and bear half of the development cost, the statement added.

The NOC and Wintershall had been locked in a dispute over the German company’s concessions in Libya that had blocked up to 160,000 barrels per day of production in 2017 before an interim deal was struck to resume output.

The NOC said at the time that Wintershall had failed to honor a 2010 memorandum of understanding to convert its concessions to EPSA IV terms, or the standard NOC contract that governs deals with international oil companies in Libya.

In September, German daily Handelsblatt reported Wintershall was considering exiting Libya after its clash with the NOC.

“NOC is proud to be a true and faithful guardian of the oil wealth to the Libyan people. We are pleased to start a new chapter of cooperation with WIAG, which has been operating in the Sirte Basin since 1966,” said NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla in the statement.

Reporting by Aidan Lewis; editing by David Evans