Situation in Libya

ENI company to launch oil drilling in Libya

by teleSUR

ENI will begin oil drilling in two exploration blocks in Libya, as part of an exploration contract signed with the Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC).

Drilling for exploratory studies will be located near the gas facilities of the Wafa field. A budget of US$ 8 billion is available for this purpose. Offshore drilling will also be carried out, this time in cooperation with the British company BP.

ENI is an energy company operating in 62 countries, with more than 32,000 employees. It is engaged in the exploration, development and production of oil and gas, as well as the processing, marketing and transportation of raw materials and renewable energies. With an 80% share of national production with a production of 1.6 Bscf/d in 2022, ENI is the main gas manufacturer and supplier to the country’s domestic market.

The company has been involved in oil and gas production in Libya for more than 60 years. Its participation in the country’s energy infrastructure is comprehensive, so that it participates in the exploration, production and development phases. Production activities are operated through the joint venture Mellitah Oil and Gas BV, with ENI holding a 50% interest and NOC a 50% interest. Production was pre-closure at 165 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2022. These exploration and production actions will generate an increase in Libya’s energy capacity in the midst of one of its worst crises in the exploitation of its oil resources.

The force majeure, declared in 2014, was revoked following ENI’s completion of a safety risk assessment to assess the safety conditions in the areas where the exploration program will be carried out; this study yielded positive results. Force majeure is one of the causes that exonerate from liability to comply with an obligation in the oil sector, in the event of circumstantial events not foreseen in the contracts.

The political chaos left in the country by the 2011 multinational military intervention has deeply affected Libya’s oil industry. In recent months, popular protests have forced the closure of two of Libya’s largest oil fields, critically affecting fuel production.

Last July 16, the Ministry of Oil and Gas of the Libyan Government of National Accord reported the opening of the fields.  El Sharara and El Feel, after they were unlocked by the protesters. The protesters, who mostly come from the Al Zawi tribe, had blocked the sites in response to the arrest in Tripoli of a member of their tribe, the former finance minister of the Government of National Accord, Faraj Boumtari. On July 15, it was reported that the former minister was released after the intervention of the country’s attorney general.

“Work and crude oil extraction have already resumed at the El Sharara oil field, operated by Akakus Oil Operations Company, and at the El Feel field, operated by Mellitah oil company. The extraction at both fields has been blocked by protesters since July 13”, the Ministry said in a statement.

As Libya finds the path to political stability, its oil industry should expect new partnership agreements and a return of financial capital, as well as an increase in production and economic efficiency.

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