The Oasis Group of US oil companies announced in late December that agreement had been reached with National Oil Corporation (NOC) on the terms to return to its Waha oil and gas concessions after a 19-year absence. The agreement, sealed after months of negotiations, will see Oasis, made up of Amerada Hess, ConocoPhillipsand Marathon Oil Corporation, resume operations in the 350,000- barrel-a-day (b/d) concession area, which has been operated since 1986 by NOC subsidiary, Waha Oil Company (MEED 16:12:05).
All three Oasis members said that the fiscal terms under the deal will be similar to those in effect at the time of the 1986 suspension of operations. The re-entry terms include a 25-year extension of the concessions to 2031-34 and a payment of $1,300 million to NOC. In addition, the US companies will make a contribution of $530 million to unamortised investments that were agreed as part of the 1986 standstill deal to hold the assets in escrow for the US partners. NOC will hold a 59.16 per cent interest shareholding in the Oasis interest, while ConocoPhillips and Marathon will each have a 16.33 per cent stake. Amerada will hold the remaining 8.16 per cent. The Waha concessions cover an area of almost 13 million acres in the Sirte basin. Proven reserves are put at about 1,000 million barrels of oil equivalent.