The three countries are independently conducting petroleum exploration in their portions of the basin, using different play concepts and consequently obtaining different exploration results.
Prior to the 1990s,the basin was deemed to have limited remaining hydrocarbon potential because nearly all the 3.5 billion bbl ofrecoverable oil discovered had been found before 1965.
Some 700 exploratory wells have been drilled in the basin, resulting in the discovery of at least 150 oil pools with 9500 MMBO (million barrels of oil) in place. Most wells were located in the structurally higher parts of the basin, with deeper portions being less explored because of shifting dune conditions and an expectation of reservoir thinning into the basin centre.
Russian TATNEFT obtained the concession to develop the oil block in the Ghadames Area in October 2005 (Block 82-4) in the framework of the second open tender announced by the National Oil Corporation of Libya (NOC), and became the first company in Russia coming out to the oil market of Libya.
TATNEFT won the rights to three large blocks in the Sirte and Ghadames basins in the course of the third international tender in December 2006, which was attended by 46 oil companies from different companies around the world.