Russian and Libyan state oil giants sign deal

Russian and Libyan state oil giants sign deal
2 min read
22 February, 2017
Russian and Libyan state oil giants signed a joint deal on Monday, in Tripoli's latest effort to boost oil production in the country.
Libyan authorities announced plans to increase oil production [Getty]
Russia's oil giant has paved the way for investment in Libya's oil sector by signing a Cooperation Framework Agreement with the National Oil Corporation of Libya, it was announced on Tuesday.

Rosneft chairman Igor Sechin and NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla signed the agreement on the sidelines of London's International Petroleum Week on Monday.

The deal stipulates the two state companies will establish a joint working committee to explore possible cooperation in various fields, including exploration and production.

Last month, Sanalla announced plans to encourage investment by foreign oil companies in an effort to boost Libya's oil production to 2.1 million barrels per day by 2022. 

"We need the assistance and investment of major international oil companies to reach our production goals and stabilise our economy," he said.

"This agreement with Russia's largest oil company lays the foundations for us jointly to identify areas of cooperation."

Although it was once a little-known firm, Russia's Rosneft has enjoyed a meteoric rise under President Vladimir Putin. 

The latest developments come just a few days after the British defence minister issued a stark warning to Russia warning it to keep out of Libyan affairs, amid Moscow's growing influence in the country. 

Russia's influence in Libya has been a cause of concern to NATO for some time, and General Haftar has been received by Russian officials on several occasions in the past two years.

"Putin is testing the west, he is testing the [NATO] alliance and at any point he sees weakness he pushes home. That's why it is important we stand up for our values and we continue to back the Sarraj government while urging it to be more representative of the interests of the east," said Fallon.