8 May 2007 - 16:43
  • News Code: 104149

Hellenic Petroleum SA, Greece"s biggest refiner, said its venture with Repsol YPF SA of Spain and Australia"s Woodside Petroleum Ltd. found natural gas at a well in central Libya.

Test production from a well drilled in a plot of land called NC206, in the oil-rich region of Sirte, delivered 12.1 million cubic feet a day of gas, Athens-based Hellenic Petroleum said today in an e-mailed statement. The estimated maximum flow is 16.7 million cubic feet a day, it said.

 

``Studies are under way to estimate recoverable reserves and evaluate commerciality,"" the company said.

 

Hellenic Petroleum owns 20 percent of the joint venture that in 2003 won rights to drill in five plots in Sirte and in part of the western region of Murzuq. Woodside, the operator, has 45 percent and Repsol 35 percent. Their contract provides for sharing any oil or gas with the North African nation"s government.

 

Libya, holder of Africa"s largest oil reserves, stepped up petroleum exploration after the U.S. in 2004 lifted two decades of sanctions imposed because of accusations that the nation"s leader, Muammar al-Qaddafi, was supporting terrorism. About 40 foreign oil companies are now working in the desert nation, which is slightly larger than Alaska.

 

Hellenic and its partners in Libya have previously announced an oil discovery in another plot in Sirte, called NC209, and a gas find in the region of Murzuq.

 

Shares of Hellenic Petroleum fell 2 cents, or 0.2 percent, to close at 11.22 euros in Athens, valuing the company at 3.4 billion euros. Repsol slid 0.1 percent to 24.90 euros in Madrid.

 

PIN/BLOOMBERG

News Code 104149

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