July 15 (Reuters) - BP Plc (BP.L) is soon to start deepwater drilling offshore Libya. Here are some facts about BP’s involvement in the North African country.
* BP signed an exploration and production agreement with Libya’s National Oil Corporation in 2007, after the lifting of international sanctions removed legal barriers to doing business there.
* At the time, BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward said the $900 million deal with Libya was its largest single exploration commitment.
* The deal called for BP and its Libyan partner, the Libya Investment Corporation, to explore an area of around 54,000 square kilometres of the onshore Ghadames and offshore Sirte basins. The North Ghadames acreage is the size of Kuwait and the area in the Sirte basin the size of Belgium.
* BP is soon to start drilling the first well under the deal. It will be drilled in the Gulf of Sirte beneath about 5,700 feet of water. BP is using a rig owned and operated by Noble (NE.N) for the well and says it has prepared extensively for the operation.
* The water depth of the planned Libyan well is deeper than the approximately 5,000 feet beneath which Transocean Ltd’s rig Deepwater Horizon, licensed to BP, was drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The rig exploded and sank, triggering the spill.
* Libya is a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and holds 44.3 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves, the largest in Africa.
* Libya’s top oil official, Skokri Ghanem, has said he is happy for BP’s drilling in Libya to go ahead. (Compiled by Alex Lawler; Editing by William Hardy)