Occidental Petroleum Corp. and its partners have signed contract agreements with Libya's National Oil Co. for nine exploration blocks awarded in the EPSA-4 oil and gas licensing round in January. Preliminary work on the blocks, which encompass an area in excess of 46,000 sq mi, is already under way.
"With the signing of these agreements, Occidental is leading the return of US oil and gas companies to Libya after an absence of nearly two decades," said Ray R. Irani, chairman, president, and CEO. "We're pleased to be going back to work in Libya, and we're excited about the potential of these new blocks. This is another step in the execution of our growth strategy in one of our core areas. Libya played a significant role in Occidental's history, and we believe it can play an important part in our future."
Occidental is the operator and holds a 90% exploration working interest in five onshore blocks with Liwa Energy. Occidental also holds a 35% exploration working interest in offshore blocks 35, 36, 52, and 53, with Liwa holding a 10% share. The Australian company Woodside Petroleum Ltd. has a 55%interest and is the operator.