The Algerian oil company Sonatrach announced on Monday its upcoming return to Libya after halting its activities for years due to the deteriorating security situation.

According to a statement by the company, its CEO, Rachid Hachichi, made a phone call to the Chairman of the Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC), Farhat Bengdara, to discuss Sonatrach's resumption of its oil activities in Libya.

The phone call took place after the official notification provided by Sonatrach regarding its lifting of the state of force majeure in response to the invitation of the NOC addressed to international companies operating in the field of oil and gas.

The company's statement added that the two sides agreed to hold a meeting on November 7, 2023 in Tripoli, with the aim of officializing the process of resuming the contractual obligations of the Sonatrach complex in the field of exploration in blocks (065) and (96/95) in the Ghadames Basin, as well as discussing ways to enhance the partnership.

Sonatrach suspended its activity in Libya for the first time in 2011, and returned to work in 2012, before stopping again in 2015 due to the deterioration of the security situation in the country. In 2022, Sonatrach and the NOC signed a memorandum of understanding allowing the Algerian company to resume its activity in Libya after a hiatus that lasted for years.

A statement by Sonatrach at the time said that the memorandum “aimed to resume Sonatrach’s activity in Libya, complete its contractual obligations, begin developing the discovered fields, and enhance ways of cooperation in the areas of completing oil and gas projects, as well as services and training.”