BP is to resume its oil operations in Libya, suspended since February last year when the uprising began. The company feels the security situation inside Libya now makes it safe enough to return.
BP lobbied hard to win a lucrative contract worth $900 million with Libya's National Oil Corporation in 2007, after political machinations between Tony Blair and Colonel Gaddafi. These resulted in allegations that Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi was released from prison and returned to Libya as part of the deal.
Indeed, the contract was considered so vital that then British Prime Minister Tony Blair flew to Libya for the signing of the contract.
Accoring to Platform London BP announced the contract was “The single largest exploration commitment in BP’s 100-year history and the single biggest award of exploration acreage by Libya to an international energy company in modern times.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that BP's announcement to return to Libya followed just one day after rival oil company Royal Dutch Shell said it was pulling out of Libya as its oil fields were not worth developing.
BP expects that if oil explorations are successful it could be another 10 years before oil is produced. Libyan oil production is almost at pre-war levels.