Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of Russian energy giant Gazprom, has resumed work at its joint venture with Italy's Eni in Libya, Russia's envoy to Africa Mikhail Margelov said on Wednesday.
Russian energy companies LUKoil, Tatneft and Gazprom and its subsidiary Gazprom Neft set up projects in Libya under contracts signed with the former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi's regime, but suspended operations in February 2011 after civil war swept the country.
"For us it is now very important that infrastructure companies should resume their work. From our oil companies, Gazprom Neft has already restarted work with the Italian firm Eni. Our other projects are next to follow," Margelov said on the sidelines of the Russian-South Korean forum.
Gaddafi's supporters, mostly based in the south of Libya, pose no serious threat to Russian companies operating in the north, he added.
Gazprom Neft was expected to take over as an operator of the oil-rich Elephant deposit in Libya, with reserves estimated at 210 million tons of crude, but the deal was suspended due to the conflict.
Margelov also said he saw no reason for a review of Russian companies' contracts in Libya.
"The contracts are beneficial for Libyans as well, and therefore there are no pragmatic reasons for any revision," he said.
The Russian-language newspaper Moscow News reported on Wednesday, quoting Libya's interim Prime Minister Abdel Rahim al-Keeb, that Libya's new authorities will honor all former international agreements, including contracts with Russia.
"Of course, we’ll treat with respect the contracts signed with Russia and other countries. But one important condition is that these deals should be scrutinized to see that they have nothing to do with any fraudulent schemes or corruption," he said.