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Tsvetana Paraskova

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Giant Libyan Oilfield Reopens After 2 Year Outage

The El-Feel oil field in western Libya—operated by a joint venture between Italy’s Eni and Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC)—reopened on Wednesday after two years, and expects to start pumping oil as soon as a power outage is fixed, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Should the field, also known as Elephant, start producing soon, it could add up to 90,000 bpd to Libya’s oil output that has been crippled by continuous faction fighting and political turmoil.

Authorities are working to fix soon the power outage at the field, which has been closed since April 2015, Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) Brigadier Idris Bukhamada told Bloomberg.

In December last year, NOC confirmed in a statement the re-opening of Shahara and El-Feel fields, with production capacity of about 330,000 bpd and 90,000 bpd, respectively, after Rayayina Patrols Company of the PFG, Western Branch, announced lifting of the blockade on all the pipelines.

However, guards wanting benefits prevented El-Feel from reopening.

Last week, NOC said that the Fazan Branch of PFG has been blockading production at El-Feel since 20 December 2016 and that Libya’s direct losses from that exceeded $460 million.

Another field in the west that Eni operates together with NOC, Wafa, has also been producing in fits and starts amid the civil unrest and militia fighting.

Last week, the Wafa oilfield reopened oil and gas pipelines to its nearby port after local elders negotiated an agreement with an armed group that had caused NOC to enact a force majeure. The shutdown had started on March 26. Related: Does This Reversal Show A Crack In The Philippines’ War On Mining

Libya’s NOC has said that it would target production of around 1.2 million bpd by the end of this year, but this level is currently nowhere in sight. As per OPEC’s secondary sources, Libya – exempt from the production cuts due to the violence – produced 622,000 bpd in March, down from 683,000 bpd in February.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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