[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 May 2007, 19:10 GMT 20:10 UK
BP returns to Libya in $900m deal
BP logo outside petrol station
BP has not operated in Libya since 1974
Oil giant BP has announced that it has struck a deal to return to Libya after an absence of more than 30 years.

Chief executive Tony Hayward said the $900m (453m) joint venture with the Libya Investment Corporation was BP's "biggest exploration commitment".

The group will explore about 54,000 square kilometres - at the onshore Ghadames and offshore Sirt basins.

The announcement was made during Prime Minister Tony Blair's visit to the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

BP withdrew from Libya in 1974, when its oil industry was nationalised.

"We are now beginning to develop an economic relationship with Libya," Mr Blair's spokesman said.

"That's why companies such as BP can begin to go back into the country today."

Gradual return

Mr Hayward said that BP was "delighted" to be working with the state-owned National Oil Company of Libya, "to develop their natural resources for domestic and international markets".

"Our agreement is the start of an enduring, long-term and mutually beneficial partnership with Libya," he added.

The deal is the latest stage in Libya's gradual return to the international fold since the US lifted its sanctions in 2004.

Royal Dutch Shell signed a contract two years ago to return to Libya. That deal was timed to coincide with Mr Blair's first visit to the country.

BG Group has also been awarded exploration and production rights in Libya.

BP closer to losing its gas field
28 May 07 |  Business
Threat to BP's Siberian gas field
21 May 07 |  Business
Gazprom grabs Sakhalin gas stake
21 Dec 06 |  Business
TNK-BP settles $1.4bn Russia bill
10 Nov 06 |  Business
Russia launches probe at TNK-BP
09 Nov 06 |  Business

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific