New Delhi, Feb 23 (): India has prepared an evacuation plan for Indians in Libya through the sea route. With BP the largest player in Libya tying up with Reliance India for a $7.2 million deal there are indications that with the current unrest the deal might go up to $20 million dollar. In her latest tweet, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao indicated that India was still waiting for permission to land its aircraft and ships. “Just spoke to our Ambassador in Tripoli. She awaits clearance for landing of our aircraft and for our ships. One ship is arriving Egypt today. From Egypt access to eastern coast of Libya is relatively quick and less difficult,” she posted.
More ships may be commissioned to pick up Indians from Tripoli and Benghazi and drop them to Alexandria in Egypt, from where they will be flown back on special planes. Air India has been asked to keep aircraft ready for flights to Alexandria. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has clarified that Indians in Libya have not been asked to pay for evacuation.
The Indian government is also studying the feasibility of driving citizens from Benghazi to Alexandria.
Reliance India Ltd’s $7.2 billion deal (might go up to $20 billion) with oil and gas major BP ,was announced on the same day when BP stopped its operations in Libya.
BP is the largest player in Libya’s oil exploration and production and the Libyan reserves add up to almost three per cent of global oil and gas reserves. BP has major stakes in Libya and might have to evacuate its employees from Libya to protect them.
BP’s investments in the RIL blocks in India is therefore a major balancing factor for the company, especially as it said on Monday that the Indian blocks have reserves equivalent to the premium North Sea reserves.