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Italy Looks To Secure More Oil And Gas From Libya

Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is expected to travel to Libya on Saturday to discuss more oil and natural gas supply from the North African country, Italian media report.

Libya’s state energy firm, for its part, said it expected to sign even more deals with foreign companies after the $8B gas deal signed with Eni.

During Meloni’s visit to Tripoli, Italian energy major Eni and Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) are expected to sign an agreement on investment from Eni in Libya’s gas supply, according to various reports.

Eni and NOC could sign on Saturday an $8 billion deal to produce gas from the Mediterranean, NOC chairman Farhat Bengdara said on a television channel earlier this week.

It is expected that Eni’s CEO Claudio Descalzi will travel to Libya to sign the agreement, an Italian source told Reuters.

Descalzi and NOC’s Bengdara met last August in Rome, where Descalzi “expressed the willingness to launch a new phase of investments aimed at increasing the gas output of the Country,” Eni said at the time.

Descalzi and Italy’s PM Meloni have just returned from a trip to another North African country, Algeria, as part of a wider Italian push to secure more energy supplies for Italy and for Europe from North Africa.

Eni and Algerian state oil and gas firm Sonatrach signed an agreement earlier this week to identify possible measures to improve Algeria’s energy export capacity to Europe, identify renewable energy development projects, and reduce emissions.

“The partnership between Italy and Algeria gets stronger today, and Algeria’s key role as one of Europe’s main energy suppliers is confirmed,” Eni’s Descalzi said after the signing of the agreements witnessed by Italy’s Meloni and Algeria’s President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

Earlier this month, Descalzi told the Financial Times that Europe should look to Africa for a “south-north” energy axis that would deliver gas from Africa to the EU, which is scrambling to replace Russian pipeline supply.

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Eni is a major player in many African countries and has signed several agreements to boost gas supply from Africa to Europe since the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the slump in Russia’s gas deliveries via pipeline.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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