Production from Eni’s key offshore 8.3 bcm/y Bahr Essalam gas field and the onshore 4.8 bcm/y Wafa field near the Algerian border was shut in on 3 March after intra-militia violence caused the closure of the coastal 7.2 bcm/y Mellitah plant which processes gas from both fields. Limited production has now resumed after Libyan security forces secured the plant – which is undamaged – but Greenstream flows have yet to restart.
Eni is just the latest in a series of foreign operators to have their production shut in or reduced by security-related issues. Whilst individual operators have had a tendency in recent months to put such shut-ins down to exceptional factors, taken as a whole such incidents are the new normal in the Libyan upstream – and the downstream (the country’s key 220,000 b/d Ras Lanuf refinery has been closed several times by protests in recent months). Meanwhile the return of international firms to exploration has slowed to a trickle – with Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) becoming increasingly exasperated. (CONTINUED - 1574 WORDS)