Oil production resumes in Libya

2011-09-26 14:16
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Libya war continues

Libyan revolutionary fighters continue to battle ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi's and his loyalists.

Rome - Libya has resumed oil production for the first time since the civil war, tapping 15 wells and producing some 31 900 barrels per day, Italian energy giant Eni said on Monday.

Eni said production had resumed at the Abu-Attifel fields, about 300km south of the city of Benghazi. Other wells would be reactivated soon to reach the "required volumes to fill the pipeline" between the Abu-Attifel field and the Zuetina port.

The operations are being conducted by Mellitah Oil & Gas, a partnership between Eni and Libya's state-run National Oil Corp.

Before the protests against Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi in mid-February morphed into a full-scale civil war, Eni was producing 273 000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in Libya. The country sits atop Africa's largest proven reserves of conventional crude.

With a small population of only six million, Libya raked in $40bn last year from oil and gas exports. Experts say it could take about a year or more to get back to its pre-war production of 1.6 million barrels a day.

Earlier this month, Eni CEO Paolo Scaroni visited Tripoli to lay the groundwork for re-launching gas exports to Italy via the Greenstream pipeline, which can carry roughly 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year. It hasn't been operational since late February.

Scaroni has set October 15 as an optimistic deadline to restart the gas flow.

- AP
Read more on:    muammar gaddafi  |  libya  |  libya protests  |  north africa  |  uprisings
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