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Exxon, Indian State Oil Company Won Libya's Oil Blocks

Three blocs that drew only single bidders in Libya's latest oil exploration round were awarded...

Three blocs that drew only single bidders in Libya's latest oil exploration round were awarded to Exxon, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd and Inpex on Sunday, the country's state National Oil Corporation announced late evening.

Exxon Mobil Corp was awarded a 22.3% share in four wells, India's Oil & Natural Gas Corp a 28% share in one well and Japan's Inpex Holdings Inc 12.9% of three wells, NOC said.

Russia's Gazprom and Tatneft won the bulk of licences in the round last week.

Libya wants to attract foreign investment to help it hike its oil output capacity to more than 3.0 million barrels (bpd) per day by 2010-12 from about 1.6 million bpd at present.

The NOC says less than a third of Libya, Africa's fourth-largest country, has been explored for hydrocarbons. Its estimated reserves of 37 billion barrels so far have put it among the top 10 oil reserves owners.

The latest round, the third since the lifting of sanctions by the United States in 2004, listed 12 offshore blocks and 29 onshore areas.

The onshore areas included the mature Sirte basin, the semi-mature Ghadames basin and so-called frontier regions of Murzuq, Kufra and Cyrenaica.