Italian oil giant strikes new deal with Libya

August 30th, 2011 - 2:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Rome, Aug 30 (IANS/AKI) Officials from Italian oil giant Eni have met Libyan rebel leaders in Benghazi where they signed an agreement to restore the oil company’s pre-conflict role as Libya’s biggest oil and natural gas producer.

Paolo Scaroni, chief executive officer of Eni, was among the visitors to Benghazi Monday. Reports said Scaroni met the head of Libya’s National Oil Company.

“With the memorandum, Eni and the National Transition Council (NTC) are working to recreate the conditions for a swift return of Eni’s activities in the country,” the Rome-based company said in a statement.

The agreement would allow Eni to resume gas imports to Italy via the Greenstream underwater pipeline through the Mediterranean Sea.

Scaroni said the move was important ahead of winter when demand for the fuel increases in Italy.

The Eni chief’s trip to Libya made him the first head of a major oil company to visit the country since rebels took over the capital Tripoli, putting an end to Muammar Gaddafi’s 42-year-old rule.

Eni earlier stated it needs between six and 18 months to restart oil and gas fields in Libya. The company has been in Libya since 1959 and got 13 percent of its revenue from Libyan natural resources before the conflict broke out in February.

–IANS/AKI
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