Total Expands In Libya With Marathon Waha Purchase

Risk-averse US firm walks away from key international stake.

No-one claimed that investing in the Libyan upstream was a sprint. It’s evidently not a Marathon either, with the eponymous US independent agreeing on 2 March to sell its 16.33% stake in Libya’s Waha Oil Company to French major Total for $450mn.

The sum involved is modest, reflecting Libya’s political instability ( MEES, 9 March ). But, make no mistake, this is an important stake in the largest concession in Africa’s third largest oil producer.

Total CEO Patrick Pouyanné says the purchase is one of the “best deals ever.” “We’re ready to take risks,” he tells Bloomberg TV in a 5 March interview. “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,” he adds in the more prosaic press release announcing the deal.


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