Eni, BP, and the National Oil Company (NOC) have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for an Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement (ESPA) in Libya to boost in-country exploration and development activities, Eni stated in a press release.

The LOI will lead into the acquisition process for Eni to obtain a 42.5% participating interest and assignment of operatorship for the contractual areas A and B (onshore) and C (offshore) in Libya, currently held by BP.

BP holds an 85% working interest of the second party share in each block, with the Libyan Investment Authority holding the remaining 15%.

The agreements are slated to be completed in December 2018, with the aim of re-starting exploration activities in 2019.

The LOI also details the parties commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) in contributing to social development in the country through the implementation of social impact initiatives, including specific education and technical training programs.

“This is an important milestone that will help to unlock Libyan exploration potential by resuming EPSA operations that have remained suspended since 2014. It contributes towards creating an attractive investment environment in the country, aimed at restoring Libya’s production levels and reserve base by optimizing the use of existing Libyan infrastructure”, stated Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi.

“The agreement’s social development guarantee is an important sign of our joint commitment to our staff and the communities in which we work. This initiative will hopefully drive further inward investment and facilitate higher production levels,” commented NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla.

BP Group Chief Executive Bob Dudley said: “This is an important step towards returning to our work in Libya. We believe that working closely together with Eni and with Libya will allow us to bring forward restarting exploration in these promising areas.”