It took more than 20 months and countless talks, but French major Total has finally, “definitively” been handed the keys to US-firm Marathon’s 16.33% stake in Libya’s largest concession: Waha.

At the time, National Oil Corporation (NOC) complained it wasn’t informed of the March 2018 Total-Marathon deal and threatened to pre-empt (MEES, 27 April 2018), saying it wasn’t necessarily a transferable right. The three Waha partners (ConocoPhillips and Hess as well as Marathon) enjoyed terms far more generous than those for most other Libyan concessions thanks to a 2005 gambit from former leader Gaddafi to get US firms to return to the country (MEES, 2 January 2006). NOC took issue with the presumption that these terms were transferable to Total; it also took issue with the rock-bottom price ($450mn) Total was paying for one of Libya’s most lucrative assets, which produced just over 340,000 b/d in 2010. (CONTINUED - 1550 WORDS)