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Eni, Libyan national oil corporation start output from offshore gas field

BUSINESS
Eni, Libyan national oil corporation start output from offshore gas field

Italian energy giant Eni and Libya's National Oil Corporation have begun production from the second phase of the Bahr Essalam offshore gas field - the country's largest - Eni said in a statement on Thursday.

Two further wells will begin production within a week under the Eni-NOC joint-venture and a further seven wells will come on-stream by October, the statement said.

"Bahr Essalam is the product of a longstanding relationship between NOC and Eni, and represents an important milestone to ensure greater energy supply security for Libya," said Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi.

"We are proud that Phase 2 will play an important role in supplying Libya with the necessary gas to fuel the country's recovery over the next 15 years,” Descalzi added.

The second phase of the Bahr Essalam project will be completed between September and October, increasing production potential by 400 million cubic feet of standard gas per day (MMSCFD) to a total output from the field of 1,100 MMSCFD, Eni said.

The Bahr Essalam field, located about 120 kilometres northwest of Tripoli, contains over 260 billion cubic metres of gas. This is delivered through the Sabratha platform to the Mellitah onshore treatment plant before principally being used to supply the national network.

The Bahr Essalam gas field delivers natural gas to an onshore treatment plant and then into the national supply chain.

Libyan premier Fayez al-Saraj, who attended the opening ceremony, said offshore gas production adds value to the national economy.

"In the past, we missed huge investment opportunities due to the lack of budget. However, today we are committed more than at anytime to encourage investment in the oil sector, and to grant promising opportunities to global giants on a commercial basis that serves the interest of this partnership, and creates growth that gives new hope to Libyan youth," al-Saraj stated.

NOC’s chairman Mustafa Sanalla said the startup shows international companies remain confident about working in the country.

"Eni have demonstrated the confidence that international oil companies have in NOC, and the success that legitimate partnerships can deliver for all Libyans," Sanalla said.

“NOC is committed to guaranteeing and increasing gas production in order to supply Libyan power plants," Sanalla added.

The boost to domestic gas output will reduce costly liquid fuel imports and free up "significant" financial resources" needed to rebuild the conflict-ravaged country, Sanalla underlined.

The start of gas production at Bahr Essalam comes less than a week after the NOC suspended operations at oil loading terminals because of challenges to its authority, prompting the UN secretary general to call for calm and the return of authority to the NOC.

Eni has been present in Libya since 1959, where it currently produces around 320,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

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