Libya exercises right of first refusal over Marathon Oil's shareholdings in Waha Oil

October 26
10:55 PM 2013

According to Libyan Oil Minister Abdelbari Arusi in a statement made last Saturday, US company Marathon Oil would continue operating in Libya even after it had sold off its shareholdings in Waha Oil Company. 

After two years of turmoil following the violent overthrow of Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi, together with highly restrictive contractual terms, many oil companies have reassessed their willingness to participate in the oil industry in the North African nation. The government though has been pushing for companies to keep doing business with the country.

Anonymous sources told Reuters earlier this week that Marathon oil was prevented from selling its shares in Waha Oil by the Libyan government, who has the right of first refusal over the deal. According to sources, the state owned National Oil Corp is expected to offer Marathon Oil a bid below market price for the shareholdings.

In an interview with reporters, Arusi said "They are staying here. They told us they will continue with us." He also said that Libya was considering purchasing as from its neighbor Algeria to avoid power stoppages when peak demand arises. He also announced that South Africa wanted to purchase oil from Libya.

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