German RWE delays Libya oil start up

The oil arm of Germany's power giant RWE said on Wednesday it would postpone a start up of its large oil fields in Libya, still awaiting an agreement with local authorities on the structure of the venture.

"We are now at the place where we need to build up a joint venture with NOC, all the formalities are in place we are now waiting for NOC to go into registration with us," Christoph Schlichter, senior vice president for North Africa at RWE Dea said on the sidelines of a conference in London.

RWE had initially hoped to start production in 2014-2015 but that date is no longer realistic, said Schlichter.

"They (Libyans) are keen to get new investments on the rise quickly to provide more jobs. But their focus has been ramping up (existing) production," he said referring to a full shut down of Libyan production last year due to a civil war.

The company undertook an exploration campaign in Libya between 2003 and 2010 and made eight discoveries at blocks NC 193 and NC 195. The fields were declared to be commercially viable just prior to the start of the 2011 Libyan conflict, so development plans with NOC could not be finalised.

The discoveries are in the order of 100 million barrels but it is too early to estimate a production rate, added Schlichter.

(Source: Reuters)

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