BP’s acreage, which is split between the offshore Sirte basin and the Ghadames basin near the Tunisian border, is the company’s single largest global exploration award. Drilling operations are planned to start in June 2010.

Companies have been asked to register their interest by 26 June for well services and the base camp. The information will be used by BP Libya to identify firms available for future competitive tenders for the work.

BP’s seven-year exploration and production agreement, which includes an option for an extension, calls for a minimum exploration commitment of $900m, covering 17 exploration wells, and the acquisition of 30,000 square kilometres of 3D seismic data and 5,500 kilometres of 2D seismic data (MEED 1:7:08).

Depending on the level of success upstream, development plans have been drafted for a downstream investment of up to $25bn, including pipelines, processing facilities and up to four liquefied natural gas (LNG) trains.