French Oil Major Total’s CEO Patrick Pouyanné will meet with Libya’s newly formed unity government on 20 April to discuss the company’s involvement in Libya’s oil and gas sector, marking the start of an economic and sectoral transformation in Libya.
Libya currently holds Africa’s largest oil reserves – estimated at 41 billion barrels – and Total has expressed interest in the country’s sector, specifically regarding the purchasing of new concessions. Total bought a 16.33% stake, estimated at $450 million, in Marathon Oil’s Waha concession in 2018. However, lengthy processes and government delays – including the negotiation of a $150 million bonus and a promise to invest $650 million to boost the Waha field’s output to 400,000 barrels per day – caused increased difficulty for Total. Subsequently, after the formation of the new unity government, Total is now seeking additional opportunities for involvement in the country’s sector according to African Energy.
Total’s visit is largely accredited to Libya’s newly established political stability, as well as increasing competition from other global energy giants. Notably, Italian oil major Eni – which produces almost all of the country’s exported gas and has owned the Greenstream pipeline since 2004 – is competing for a stake in Libya’s energy industry. By actively pursuing a productive dialogue regarding the sector, Total is establishing itself as the preferred operator for many upcoming projects.