By John Lee.
Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) has accused Germany's Wintershall, a subsidiary of BASF, of trying to interfere in Libyan internal politics and to take advantage of the weakness of the state.
In a statement, the NOC referred to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed on August 26, 2010, which extended Wintershall’s 50-year concession for areas NC-96 and NC-97 and converted its contract to EPSA IV terms, in line with other foreign operators in Libya.
It says that having restarted production on September 16, 2016, when force majeure was lifted at Zuetina, the company then stopped production on March 7, 2017 following a series of meetings to discuss implementing the 2010 MOU.
According to the NOC:
"Wintershall chose not to honor its commitments and was not included in the latest loading plans as a consequence. If Wintershall kept to its agreements, including seeking a resolution by arbitration, production and exports could continue.
"Instead, it has tried to interfere in Libyan internal politics and to take advantage of the weakness of the state."
In an emailed reply to Libya Business News, a spokesperson for Wintershall said:
“Our concession agreements with the State of Libya are still valid and in full force. We are in contact with NOC about a number of issues.”