Oil Majors Halt Drilling Ops in Libya


Libya, North Africa
(Click to Enlarge)

LONDON (Dow Jones Newswires), Feb. 21, 2011

BP said Monday it was suspending preparations to drill in the Libyan desert as its contractors pull out due to unrest in the country.

The move could be a blow for the U.K. oil giant, which in 2007 signed a deal worth at least $900 million to explore in Libya, saying at the time it was its largest single exploration commitment.

Its offshore operations are continuing as normal.

Libya, an important member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, normally produces about 1.6 million barrels a day of crude--the equivalent of about 2% of global oil demand.

Some companies have already pulled some of their staff from the country.

Norwegian oil giant Statoil said it was closing its office. But others said business continued as normal.

A spokesman for BP said "some [drilling contractors] that are working there are being evacuated as a precaution" from the onshore operation.

"We are suspending preparations" for drilling in the south western Ghadames basin, which was planned to start around this spring, he said. The acreage is expected to be rich in natural gas.

But the BP spokesman said offshore seismic work "is still going on" in the Sirte basin where the company is due to start drilling by the end of June.

He also said BP is "making plans to evacuate" some non-essential staff.

Austria's OMV and Germany's RWE's exploration unit RWE Dea said they had already withdrawn some staff from the country.

A Statoil spokesman said "a handful of expats...are leaving the country due to the current situation."

"We have decided to close the office in Tripoli," he said. The company is a partner in fields but doesn't operate them.He didn't specify how long the office would be shut.

Shell said it had "temporarily relocated the dependents of expatriate staff outside Libya."

However, France's Total, Gazprom of Russia, Repsol of Spain and Eni of Italy said their operations were not affected by the turmoil. Gazprom and Eni said no staff have been evacuated while Total said all measures have been taken to ensure the safety of its employees.

"As of today [Monday], 1100, operations and production are normal," Total spokesman Florent Segura told Dow Jones Newswires in a telephone interview. He declined to give any further comment.

Copyright (c) 2011 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

Related Companies
 Company: BP plcmore info


 - BP Says It Is Considering IPO of US Pipeline Assets (Jul 18)
 - Total, BP Unit, YPF Boost Investment in Argentina's Vaca Muerta (Jul 18)
 - Big Oil Sees Salvation in Gas, But What If It's a Wrong Bet? (Jul 18)
 Company: OAO Gazprommore info
 - EU Court Rejects Polish Bid To Halt Opal Pipeline Deal, Verdict In 2019 (Jul 21)
 - New UK Listing Rules Set to Attract State Companies Beyond Aramco (Jul 17)
 - Hungary Commits to Russia Gas Route as Poland Looks to US (Jul 7)
 Company: Shellmore info


 - BP Says It Is Considering IPO of US Pipeline Assets (Jul 18)
 - Top Oil Market Summons Poseidon to US-Mideast Crude Fight (Jul 18)
 - Big Oil Sees Salvation in Gas, But What If It's a Wrong Bet? (Jul 18)
 Company: Statoilmore info


 - Europe's Oil Giants Recover From Three-Year Slump (Jul 27)
 - Greenpeace Activists Protest Near Oil Rig In Norway's Arctic Sea Area (Jul 21)
 - Canada's LNG Failure Is Its Own Fault, Seven Gen Founder Says (Jul 17)
 Company: Total S.A.more info
 - Suncor, Total Argue Over Cost Of Fort Hills Project (Jul 27)
 - Europe's Oil Giants Recover From Three-Year Slump (Jul 27)
 - Total, BP Unit, YPF Boost Investment in Argentina's Vaca Muerta (Jul 18)
 Company: ENImore info


 - Mexico Delays Next Oil Auction to Let Huge New Find Sink In (Jul 17)
 - Trump Administration Approves Eni Plan To Drill Offshore Alaska (Jul 13)
 - Total To Drill For Gas Off Cyprus Despite Collapse Of Peace Talks (Jul 12)
 Company: OMVmore info
 - Austria's OMV Moves Workers In Tunisia Over Gas Field Protests (May 4)
 - OMV Acquires Yuzhno Russkoye Interest for $1.85B (Mar 6)
 - OMV, Dana Energy Sign Iranian Oil, Gas MoU (Jan 25)
 Company: Repsol more info
 - China Urges Halt To Oil Drilling In Disputed South China Sea (Jul 25)
 - SBM Offshore, Repsol to Get $247 Million in Yme Insurance Settlement (Jul 17)
 - Repsol Sinopec Flows First Oil from North Sea Shaw Field (May 9)
 Company: RWE-DEAmore info
 - Lundin Granted Drilling Permit in PL609 (Sep 10)
 - Lundin Spuds Appraisal Well on Alta Discovery (Mar 25)
 - Japan's JX, GDF Suez Find New Oil in UK North Sea (Mar 13)
Events  SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

Our Privacy Pledge
SUBSCRIBE


Most Popular Articles


From the Career Center
Jobs that may interest you
Experienced Floorhand
Expertise: Floorhand / Roughneck
Location: Dickinson, ND
 
US Fort Lupton: Entry Level Technology Services Technician
Expertise: Production Engineering
Location: Fort Lupton, CO
 
Drill Rig Operator
Expertise: Directional Driller|Driller|Drilling Foreman / Drilling Supervisor
Location: Sand Springs, OK
 
search for more jobs

Brent Crude Oil : $50.97/BBL 1.53%
Light Crude Oil : $48.75/BBL 1.79%
Natural Gas : $2.92/MMBtu 0.68%
Updated in last 24 hours