London, United Kingdom | AFP |
Russia’s Rosneft oil giant has paved the way for investment in Libya’s oil sector by signing a Cooperation Framework Agreement with the National Oil Corporation of Libya, it was announced Tuesday.
The agreement was signed Monday on the sidelines of London’s International Petroleum Week by NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla and Rosneft chairman Igor Sechin, according to the NOC.
Under the deal, the two state companies will establish a joint working committee to explore possible cooperation in various fields, including exploration and production.
Sanalla last month announced plans to encourage investment by foreign oil companies in an effort to boost Libya’s oil production to 2.1 million barrels per day by 2022.
“We need the assistance and investment of major international oil companies to reach our production goals and stabilise our economy,” he said.
“This agreement with Russia’s largest oil company lays the foundations for us jointly to identify areas of cooperation.”
Once a little-known firm, Russia’s Rosneft has enjoyed a meteoric rise under President Vladimir Putin.
Headed by the ex-KGB agent’s powerful ally Sechin, it has scooped up some of the most prized assets in the Russian oil sector in a series of controversial deals.
Libya currently produces around 600,000 barrels per day (bpd). Before the fall in 2011 of Moamer Kadhafi, it produced 1.6 million bpd.
Since then, the country has been gripped by political and security chaos, unable to exploit or profit fully from its enormous oil resources and pushing the economy to the brink of collapse.