NOC and Wintershall signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on August 26, 2010, to extend Wintershall’s 50-year concession for areas NC-96 and NC-97 and to convert to EPSA IV terms, in line with other foreign operators in Libya.
Wintershall’s concession otherwise expired on March 27, 2016. Zuetina port, from which NC-96 and NC-97 production is exported, was blockaded by units of the Petroleum Facilities Guards at that time. Wintershall restarted production on September 16, 2016, when force majeure was lifted at Zuetina, and shut production on March 7, 2017. In the interim period, NOC and Wintershall held a number of meetings to discuss implementing the 2010 MOU. Wintershall chose not to honor its commitments and was not included in the latest loading plans as a consequence.
If Wintershall kept to its agreements, including seeking a resolution by arbitration, production and exports could continue. Instead, it has tried to interfere in Libyan internal politics and to take advantage of the weakness of the state.
10 May 2017