Heritage deal marks first move on Libyan oil market

City A.M. Reporter
HERITAGE Oil has bought control of a Benghazi-based oil services firm, striking the first upstream deal in Libya since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi and building on the British explorer’s reputation as a first mover into political hot-spots.

Heritage said yesterday it had bought 51 per cent of Sahara Oil Services Holdings for $19.5m (£12.7m). It was reported last month it was touting for business in Libya.

Heritage said that as well as having necessary permits to provide onshore and offshore oil field services, Sahara Oil Services had the rights to own and operate oil and gas licences in Libya.

Also yesterday, the head of French oil company Total’s Libyan joint venture Ahmed Abulsayen called for the formerly all-powerful National Oil Corp to leave smaller companies with more operational independence.