TotalEnergies raises stake in Libya’s Waha concessions

French energy company first acquired interest from Marathon Oil in 2018

Oil platforms in the Mediterranean sea, Libya. The North African country has been looking to boost its crude output. AP
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France's TotalEnergies and ConocoPhillips have completed the joint acquisition of Hess’ 8.2 per cent stake in Libya’s Waha concessions.

This takes TotalEnergies’ interest in the concessions to 20.41 per cent from 16.33 per cent, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

TotalEnergies, which has been operating in Libya since 1954, first acquired the stake from Marathon Oil in 2018, giving it access to reserves and resources in excess of 500 million barrels of oil equivalent, with immediate production of about 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

In 2020, the company’s production in the North African country stood at 84,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

“With nearly 70 years of presence in the country, TotalEnergies is firmly committed to working alongside Libya’s National Oil Corporation to develop the Waha fields,” said Patrick Pouyanne, chief executive of TotalEnergies.

TotalEnergies and the NOC are also studying the development of dedicated solar projects to supply electricity to Waha production sites, the company said.

Libya, Opec’s seventh-largest crude oil producer, has been looking to boost its production after years of being plagued by conflicts and political instability.

Libya’s NOC plans to bolster oil production to 2.1 million barrels per day by 2025.

To reach this target, the NOC aims to develop new projects, rehabilitate fields damaged during conflicts while increasing power supply to the areas.

Severe disruptions in 2020 forced Libya’s crude oil production to fall to a record low of 365,000 bpd, from a 2019 output of 1.1 million bpd.

In September, TotalEnergies sold its 18 per cent stake in the Sarsang onshore oilfield in the Kurdistan region of Iraq to ShaMaran Petroleum for $155 million.

The Sarsang field, discovered in 2011, is operated by the energy firm HKN which retains 62 per cent ownership, with the Kurdistan Regional Government owning a 20 per cent interest. TotalEnergies' share of production in the field was about 3,500 barrels per day in 2021.

Earlier on Tuesday, TotalEnergies and Eni signed a "framework agreement" with Israel to implement the maritime boundary accord that was agreed between Israel and Lebanon last month.

In Lebanon, TotalEnergies is the operator of the exploration Block 9 and holds a 60 per cent interest, alongside its partner Eni's 40 per cent.

Updated: November 15, 2022, 3:45 PM