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    Gazprom wins Libya hydrocarbon deposit tender

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    Russian energy giant Gazprom [RTS: GAZP] said Thursday it has won a tender to explore and develop a hydrocarbon deposit in Libya.

    MOSCOW, December 21 (RIA Novosti) - Russian energy giant Gazprom [RTS: GAZP] said Thursday it has won a tender to explore and develop a hydrocarbon deposit in Libya.

    The tender to develop Libya's hydrocarbon block No. 19 on the shelf of the Mediterranean Sea was announced by the Libyan state-controlled National Oil Corporation (NOC) and involved the participation of more than 45 international bidders, Gazprom said in a statement.

    The Russian energy giant will receive the right to develop the deposit for a term of up to 30 years and will invest more than $200 million in the project to finance geological prospecting, including the drilling of six exploration wells, Gazprom said.

    Libya's proven natural gas reserves total about 1.49 trillion cubic meters, the fourth-largest reserves in Africa after Algeria, Nigeria and Egypt. However, this potential is hardly tapped: the country produces 7 billion cubic metes of gas annually, with domestic consumption accounting for 83% and gas exports for 17%.

    Libya's proven oil reserves are estimated at 7 billion metric tons (51.3 billion barrels). In 2005, Libya produced more than 80 million metric tons (586.4 million barrels) of oil.

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