Enjoying rebel links, Britain’s Heritage Oil acquires Libya firm

British company Heritage Oil said Tuesday that it has acquired a controlling interest in a Libyan company licensed to provide oil field services including offshore and land-based drilling.

A rebel fighter gestures after rebels seized full control of the Zawiyah oil refinery in this Aug 18 photo. Libyan rebels have destroyed the Gadhafi regime thanks to help from NATO, although fierce fighting against pro-Gadhafi forces continues in some regions. REUTERS photo

A rebel fighter gestures after rebels seized full control of the Zawiyah oil refinery in this Aug 18 photo. Libyan rebels have destroyed the Gadhafi regime thanks to help from NATO, although fierce fighting against pro-Gadhafi forces continues in some regions. REUTERS photo

Heritage said it paid $19.5 million for a 51 percent stake in Sahara Oil Services Holdings. Heritage said the acquisition will allow it to play a significant role in Libya’s oil and gas industry. Sahara Oil Services was established in 2009 and is based in Benghazi.

Heritage established a base in Benghazi this year and has been dealing with senior members of the National Transitional Council, the company said. Richard Griffith, an analyst at Evolution Securities, said the move “could prove to be a very shrewd investment” by the company. The company’s CEO Tony Buckingham said Heritage is “well placed to play a significant role in the future oil and gas industry in Libya.”

Heritage has exploration projects in Iraq, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malta, Pakistan, Tanzania and Mali.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011
LONDON – The Associated Press