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Turkey Eyes Libya Upstream

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Turkey is in talks over oil and gas exploration in Libya, as President Recep Tayyip Erdogans administration seeks business opportunities in the conflict-ridden North African country.

 

Turkey and Libyas United Nations-recognized government, which controls the capital Tripoli and other parts of the west, are discussing onshore and offshore energy blocks, according to a Turkish energy official, who asked not to be identified because the information isnt public.

 

Turkish officials also held talks with Libyas National Oil Corp. about power generation and pipeline operations, the person said. The official did not specify whether the NOC was included in negotiations about energy exploration.

 

The NOC, also based in Tripoli, didnt immediately respond to a request for comment.

 

An energy deal would strengthen Turkeys ties with the Government of National Accord, which fended off a campaign by eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar to capture Tripoli and wrest full control of the OPEC member earlier this year. Ankara sent troops and military advisers to Libya in January, which proved crucial in turning the tide against Haftar.

 

Libya, home to Africas largest crude oil reserves, has been wracked by war and lawlessness since a 2011 revolt that toppled former dictator Muammar al-Qaddafi. The country is divided between the GNA and Haftars Libyan National Army, which is backed by Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

 

The war has devastated Libyas oil industry. It pumped just 100,000 barrels of crude a day in July, a fraction of the 1.6 million barrels of daily output a decade ago.

 

Western Libya is home to the countrys biggest oil field, Sharara.


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