On Tuesday, TotalEnergies’ CEO, Patrick Pouyanne said that the French oil giant and Italy’s Eni SpA are ready to pump billions of dollars investments in Libya, as the North African country emerges from a decade of civil war.
“I want to contribute to Libya’s comeback,” Pouyanne added at an energy conference in Tripoli.
“Some may see more boldness than wisdom in TotalEnergies’ decision to partner with Libya. I don’t. Where they see risks, I see opportunities,” he added.
The Paris-based firm will put $2 billion into Libya’s Al-Waha oil project, which will boost production by around 100,000 bpd, he said. It will also work to raise output at the Mabruk field, and help build 500 megawatts of solar power to feed the local grid.
“Libya will be a vital source of supply for global petroleum markets over the next decade,” Pouyanne said.
The nation contains Africa’s largest oil reserves, but has been mired in fighting for much of the past decade, after leader Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in a NATO-backed uprising.
Libya’s warring parties struck a truce in mid-2020, leading to greater stability and enabling crude output to rise from a near standstill to around 1.1 million bpd.
The government has said it needs significant amounts of foreign investment to sustain that level of output, let alone reach its target of between 2-2.5 million bpd within six years.
In turn, Eni’s COO, Alessandro Puliti said that they are also ready to push ahead with oil, natural-gas, and solar projects.
“Libya has significant remaining oil and gas potential, he said. “Eni is ready to support that development.”
The Italian company was one of the first firms to explore in Libya and struck oil in the late 1950s. It currently pumps about 400,000 barrels a day of oil and gas, making it the largest foreign energy company in the country, Puliti said. “Despite the complex situation, we’ve continued to invest,” he said.
The two-day conference is the first prominent energy forum held in Libya for over 10 years.