Libya Examines Total-Marathon Purchase, Casting Doubt On Deal - Sources

Exploration Potential

Waha's output of 300,000 boe/d is expected to rise to 400,000 boe/d by the end of the decade, according to production figures given by Total when it announced the deal in early March.

Total said the deal would give it access to reserves and resources in excess of 500 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe), with immediate production of around 50,000 boe/d (per day) and "significant exploration potential" in concessions in the Sirte Basin.

The stake carries production risks - a Waha pipeline has been hit twice in the past four months by suspected attacks, most recently on Saturday.

But it also gives Total a presence at fields in eastern Libya, where most of the country's oilresources lie. Total already had stakes in the giant southwestern Sharara field, and the offshore Al Jurf field along the Tunisian border.

Libya has been split between rival military factions and governments based in the west and east of the country since 2014. The eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) has allowed the NOC in Tripoli to operate facilities on LNA territory, while opposing the internationally recognised government in the capital.

The Waha concessions, granted decades ago, are governed by a law that stipulates that Libya's oil ministry must approve the deal, the Presidency Council source said.

Since the oil ministry is not currently operational, that power falls to the Presidency Council, he said, though the NOC has previously disputed the Council's attempts to take over oil ministry powers.

Any acquisition should deliver the "best possible outcome for all the Libyan people, taking into account Libya's security situation, fiscal position and external investment requirements", the NOC said.

(Additional reporting by Ron Busso in London, Bate Felix in Paris and Ernest Scheyder in Houston; editing by Jason Neely)


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