BP free to resume offshore Libya drilling preparations

Offshore staff

LONDON – BP (NYSE:BP) has lifted force majeure on its Libyan exploration and production sharing agreement (EPSA) with National Oil Corp. (NOC)

The EPSA contract, ratified in December 2007, included a commitment to drill five wells offshore and 12 onshore.

BP subsequently acquired more than 31,000 sq km (11,969 sq mi) of 3D seismic over blocks offshore in the Sirt basin and onshore in the Ghadames basin. However, the exploration program was interrupted in 2011 before drilling started, with force majeure in place since February 2011.

BP and NOC had discussed how the impact might be mitigated in BP’s existing contract terms.

Dr. Michael Daly, BP’s executive VP for Exploration, and Regional President Felipe Osada, signed the new agreement in Tripoli yesterday with Dr. Nuri Berruien, chairman of NOC.

Daly said: “The lifting of force majeure is a significant milestone in BP’s plans to return to the exploration of onshore and offshore blocks in our existing EPSA contract. We look forward to working with the NOC and our partners in the Libyan Investment Authority to safely implement our drilling program.”


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