Total expands in Libya with Waha stake buy from Marathon

LONDON (Reuters) – French energy company Total (TOTF.PA) said it acquired a 16.33 percent stake in Libya’s Waha concessions from Marathon Petroleum (MPC.N) in a $450 million transaction.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of French oil company Total is seen on a fuel pump at a Total gas station in Paris, France, April 19, 2016. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen/File Photo

Waha Oil Company is a subsidiary of Libya’s state-owned National Oil Corp (NOC) and currently produces 300,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d). That is expected to rise to 400,000 boe/d by the end of the decade, Total said.

“This acquisition is in line with Total’s strategy to reinforce its portfolio with high quality and low-technical cost assets whilst bolstering our historic strength in the Middle East and North Africa region,” Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne said.

Other Waha stakeholders include NOC with 59.18 percent, ConocoPhillips with 16.33 percent and Hess with 8.16 percent.

Total’s share of Libyan production stood at 31,500 boe/d in 2017 from its concessions in the offshore Al Jurf field and the onshore Sharara field.

Marathon’s sale marks a full exit from Libya, something it has been considering since at least mid-2013 but has been prevented from doing so by the NOC. [here]

“Our relentless focus on portfolio management has driven seven country exits since 2013 and generated proceeds of over $4 billion just in the last 2 years,” said Lee Tillman, Marathon president and CEO.

The Marathon sale marks the second exit for a U.S. company from Libya in recent years.

Occidental Petroleum Corp (OXY.N) sold a 7 percent stake in the Nafoura oilfield to Austria’s OMV (OMVV.VI) in late 2016.

Reporting by Ahmad Ghaddar; editing by Jason Neely

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