Italy's Eni reopens Greenstream natural gas pipeline connecting Libya, Italy for first time in eight months, will run initial tests of 3 million m3/day during initial phase

MILAN , October 13, 2011 () – The Eni oil company reopened the Greenstream natural gas pipeline connecting Libya and Italy on Thursday for the first time in eight months.

Eni said it will run initial tests of 3 million cubic meters worth of gas a day during the preliminary phase.

In Tripoli, Libya's National Oil Corporation chairman Nuri Berruien said the initial testing period would last until the end of November or mid-December and domestic needs would be prioritized.

"These amounts are limited until we decide the official amounts to be sent and that will be by the end of November of mid-December," he said at a news conference in Tripoli. "But before that we need to determine our own domestic needs to know what's left to export."

Greenstream transported 9 billion cubic meters worth of gas a year to Italy before fighting in Libya forced Eni to shut down the pipeline in February. That's about 12 percent of Italy's annual needs.

Eni called the restart of Greenstream "a milestone." Eni operates Greenstream with the Libya's state-run National Oil Corporation.

The gas is being produced by the Wafa field, around 500 kilometers (300 miles) southeast of Tripoli, which continued to produce gas during the conflict to make electricity for local consumption.

Eni and Noc are aiming to restart gas production in November from the offshore platform of Sabratah, located 110 kilometers off the Libyan coast, along with the associated treatment and processing facilities at the Mellitah Complex.

On the oil side, Eni has reached full production at the Abu-Attifel oil field with 70,000 barrels a day. Production restarted in late September at around 40,00 barrels a day.

Eni has been active in Libya, a former Italian colony, since 1959 and is the largest foreign player there in terms of hydrocarbon production. Before full-scale civil war erupted in February, Eni was producing 273,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in Libya.

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