Risk-averse US firm walks away from key international stake.

No-one claimed that investing in the Libyan upstream was a sprint. It’s evidently not a Marathon either, with the eponymous US independent agreeing on 2 March to sell its 16.33% stake in Libya’s Waha Oil Company to French major Total for $450mn.

The sum involved is modest, reflecting Libya’s political instability (MEES, 9 March). But, make no mistake, this is an important stake in the largest concession in...