Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Eni and Total resume operations in Libya

Italian oil giant Eni has resumed operations in Libya, as the National Transitional Council (NTC) tightens its grip on the economy. Eni, one of the biggest western oil investors within the country before Colonel Mu'ammar Qadhafi, said it planned to reopen a number of other oil fields within a matter of days. French oil company Total has also resumed work at the Al-Jurf offshore facility, which is capable of producing 40,000 b/d.

Meanwhile, anti Qadhafi protesters are reportedly closing in on the Leader's home town of Sirte, which is one of the last remaining Qadhafi strongholds. Troops loyal to NTC launched a surprise assault on the city during the weekend.

Eni released a statement saying it has restarted production at 15 wells in the Abu Attifel oil field, about 300km south of Benghazi. The company said it was pumping 31,900 b/d, compared with a rate of 70,000 b/d before the unrest.

The company shut down its operations in March following months of violence and an increasing security threat to its personnel.

Earlier this month, Libya's state controlled Arabian Gulf Oil (Agoco) announced that it had started pumping 160,000 b/d from fields in the east. It is estimated that Libya was producing in the region of 1.6 million b/d before the popular uprising, which makes up a large portion of the country's revenues.

Sources: BBC News, Reuters, WSJ

For more news and expert analysis about Libya, please see Libya Focus and Libya Politics & Security.

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