Western oil companies left Libya when international sanctions were imposed on Muammar Gaddafi's government
US oil giant Exxon Mobil formally struck a deal with Libya on Monday to explore offshore energy resources in an area comprising 1 million hectares.
Western oil companies left Libya when international sanctions were imposed on Muammar Gaddafi's government after the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing. The embargo was lifted last July after Libya agreed to properly compensate for the families of the bombing's victims.
"We are pleased to be back in business in Libya with our success in the second licensing round," said Phil Goss, president of the Exxon Mobil subsidiary, after the deal with Libya's National Oil Corporation.
Libya has oil reserves of 36 billion barrels, but only a quarter of its territory is covered by exploration contracts.
Exxon Mobil, the world's biggest energy company, failed to capture a Cyrenaica exploration contract in the first round of licensing in January