(Picture: Western Libya Gas Project’s Overview. Source: ENI’s official website)
by Alessandro Pagano Dritto (Twitter: @paganodritto)
[July 14th, 2018 – Italy] Italy, along with France, United Kingdom and United States, welcomed on July 12th, 2018, the National Oil Company (NOC) lifting force majeure in the ports of Ras Lanouf, Es Sider, Hariga and Zwetina after the Libyan National Army (LNA) handed them over the to it on July 11th.
Early this month – respectively on July 3rd and 5th – Tripoli’s NOC and Italy’s ENI had announced they started the second phase of a gas production from Bahr Essalam’s offshore platform, 120 km northwest of the Libyan Capital; the phase should be fully operative within September or October 2018, the joint statement reads, with an overall of 10 working wells.
ENI’s CEO Claudio Descalzi stated
“the project further demonstrates the trust and recognition ENI has in NOC as Libya’s sole legitimate oil corporation; one with whom we will continue to work exclusively in-country”
According to an ENI’s statement the website Euroborsa.it has made available on line, dated October 7th, 2004, the offshore Bahr Essalam’s platform is part of the “Western Libya Gas Project” ENI and NOC kicked off that year with a 50% stake each: the project links Bahr Essalam and the Wafa gas fields, the latter lying near the Algerian border, to Mellitah, near Sabratha, from where the gas is partially sent to Italy:
“at full capacity 10 billion cubic metres of gas per year will be produced, of which 2 billion are traded on the Libyan market and 8 billion, already entirely sold to major European competitor operators, are exported to Italy […]”
the 2004 statement reads.
According to the July 2018 statement,
“phase 2 of the project completes the development of the largest offshore producing gas field in Libya, increasing production potential by 400 million cubic feet of standard gas per day (MMSCFD). Phase 2 will be completed between September and October, bringing total field production to 1,100 MMSCFD. Bahr Essalam, located about 120 kilometres northwest of Tripoli, contains over 260 billion cubic meters of gas. This is delivered through the Sabratha platform to the Mellitah onshore treatment plant before principally being used to supply the national network”.
ENI, NOC and Tripoli had been discussing Bahr Essalam’s second phase at least since July 2017, with 9 out of 10 wells already drilled in 2016 and with a new discovery of gas announced by ENI a month later not far from the site.