Derek Brower, LONDON: Libyan oil production
will come on stream within the next two weeks and reach 1
million barrels a day (b/d) within five to six months, the head
of the countrys National Oil Company (NOC) told Petroleum
Nuri Berouin said production from the Sarir and Misla
oilfields, in Libyas southeast, would be first on stream
and exports, through a pipeline to the Marsa el Hariga port,
next to Tobruk, would begin seven to 10 days
The area around the oilfields was now secure, he said,
adding that Arabian Gulf Oil (Agoco), the NOC unit that
operates the fields, had already flown workers to the
installations and would be sending more this week.
Work to restore the fields had been 100% Libyan,
he said, quashing rumours that foreign oil companies had been
involved in operations to secure the area and patch up
infrastructure damaged by attacks on facilities by Muammar
Qadhafis forces early in the war.
We are going to handle security ourselves, he
Other fields close to Sarir and Misla are also nearing
production, said Berouin, and their oil would be exported
through an oil terminal at Zueitina, close to Ajdabiya on
Libyas coastal highway. He said oil infrastructure at Ras
Lanuf, another terminal, was fine now, adding that offshore
production is also imminent.
Taken together, work under way now to restore production
should yield output of 1 million b/d within five or six months,
NOC is also working to restore natural gas production.
Berouin said exports through the Greenstream pipeline, which
has capacity to ship 11 billion cubic metres a year to Sicily,
would begin before the end of October. Paolo
Scaroni, boss of Italys Eni, which operates the line,
said last month exports through the line could start by 15
The companys workers are also trying to restore gas
flows at Brega, he said. Brega exported small quantities
of liquefied natural gas to Spain before the war, but is
also a hub for gas shipments between east and west Libya.
Attacks from Qadhafi forces during the war cut those flows.
Contracts not on the agenda
Meanwhile, Berouin said the National Transitional Council
(NTC) would not sign any contracts or hold a new licensing
round. Both would wait until a new government had replaced the
interim council, he said.
Reports in recent days have alleged agreements between the
NTC and foreign oil companies.
Berouin said he met with Italys Eni, Frances
Total and Spains Repsol but discussions were only
around how the companies could help to restore Libyas
pre-war output levels of 1.6 million b/d.
We were discussing ways of them coming back, he
said. We agreed the way forward, and everyone is keen and
geared to start production.
All three companies held upstream contracts in Libya signed
with the Qadhafi regime.
Berouin also said he was working now to integrate the shadow
NOC set up by rebels in Benghazi with the pre-war company,
based in Tripoli.
We need to plan for the structure of NOC, he
said. We can run it fine, he said, adding that
communications with [NOC] officials in Tripoli had gone