BP, after delays, eyes start of Libyan drilling
Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:43pm EST
* Sees start of offshore drilling in first half of year
* Says offshore work postponed for checks after U.S. spill
* To start drilling onshore Libya well shortly
By Alex Lawler
LONDON, Feb 17 (Reuters) - BP Plc (BP.L), recovering from last year's Gulf of Mexico oil spill, plans to begin offshore exploration drilling in Libya by the end of June, later than previously expected.
Spokesman Robert Wine said on Thursday that BP expected to drill offshore in Libya in the first half of this year and that work on an onshore well would begin sooner.
The Libyan drilling will be the first under a $900 million deal BP signed with Libya in 2007 after the lifting of international sanctions on Libya removed barriers to doing business in the country.
At the time, BP described the deal as its largest single exploration commitment.
BP's Libyan plans have aroused suspicion in the United States, where some politicians have said the British government and BP wanted convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi released to smooth BP's deal with Libya. He was freed by Scottish authorities in 2009.
BP, after delays, eyes start of Libyan drilling | Reuters