The chief executive of Libya’s National Oil Company Shokri Ghanem National Oil Co says his country is in talks to enter into a joint venture with foreign companies to expand capacity in two refineries by more than 60%, or 210,000 barrels a day.
Currently the two refineries produce about 330,000 b/d, which would be increased to at least 550,000 b/d.
Companies from the US, Asia, Europe and India have expressed interest in refinery projects, some even proposing building new refineries, although Ghanem doesn’t offer more details.
Ghanem also says daily oil output would increase to 2mn b/d from the current 1.7mn b/d by the middle of 2007, and to 3mn b/d by 2010.
Ghanem, also Libya’s former prime minister, had previously set a deadline for the 2mn b/d mark by year-end 2007.
NOC upstream advisor Faraj Saeed adds that the North African country’s oil reserves would at least double from the current 39.1bn barrels of oil of proven reserves once the country is fully explored.
Only about a quarter of Libya’s territory has been explored for oil. The country’s exploration success ratio is about 35%, compared to 10% average elsewhere.
Libya’s fourth bidding round for exploration blocks would be done in about four months, Ghanem says, adding the contractual conditions would remain similar to the previous one.
“There is a lot of competition,” Ghanem says. “American companies are very much interested in working in Libya. But let me assure you that while we have opened our doors, we are not going to give special treatment to any country.”
Libya is the seventh largest producer within Opec. The prospect of developing those reserves got a boost after the US removed the country from the list of nations that sponsor terrorism and said it would restore diplomatic relations with Gadhafi’s government. The nations haven’t had full diplomatic relations since 1980.