ChevronTexaco officials have met with Libyan oil executives in Tripoli in recent months to discuss the possibility of investing in the former pariah state’s oil and gas industry.
Characterising the discussions as “preliminary,” a ChevronTexaco spokesman says the US oil major was “very interested” in possibly returning to Libya now that the US has lifted sanctions. Chevron had been active in Libya for several decades before its joint venture operations with Texaco were taken over by a unit of Libya’s National Oil Corp in the late 1970s.
“We have had more than one trip to Tripoli by our executives, where they met relevant Libyan officials,” says the spokesman. “We are really increasing our knowledge of what potential there could be for us further down the road.”
Any deal would have to be a “good fit” with Chevron’s current operations, and Chevron executives would have to assured of the “sanctity of any contract”.
US oil industry executives welcomed the lifting of US government barriers to doing business in Libya earlier this year, but have yet to ink a deal.
Their European counterparts are trying to strengthen their own ties with Libya, a member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries. In late March, Anglo-Dutch Royal Dutch/Shell Group announced a “landmark” agreement for a long-term strategic oil and natural gas partnership with the Libyans, but details have been lacking since then.