Woodside, in its first foray into Libya, is project operator with a 45 per cent interest in the venture. Repsol, which already has a presence in the Sirte and Murzuq basins, and Hellenic hold 35 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.

The exploration work involves geological studies, seismic acquisition and 13 exploration wells over six years. Included in the deal is a three-year feasibility study for the development of a remote field in the Murzuq basin.