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Libyan oil boss in Cairo after production gains

Libya in outreach effort after bringing idled oil fields back into production.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Libyan oil officials meet with their Egyptian counterparts in Cairo to review potential for collaboration. Photo courtesy Libya's National Oil Corp.
After boasting of gains in oil production this week, the chairman of a Libyan oil company discussed how Egyptian companies could work in the country.
Mustafa Sanalla, the chairman of Libya's National Oil Corp., met in Cairo with Egyptian Oil Minister Tareq el-Molla to discuss joint work opportunities and ways "to benefit from the expertise of the Egyptian companies in some relevant works in Libya."
Egypt is a global leader in terms of natural gas consumption and relies currently on imports to meet domestic demand. Italian energy company Eni has been robust with new activity and exploration, scoring a victory with Egyptian government consent to start developing the Zohr natural gas field offshore, which the company said may be one of the biggest discoveries in the world.
Sanalla's office said the chairman tried to familiarize his Egyptian counterparts with the Libyan oil and gas sector and some of the difficulties the country may be facing.
"And as the Libyan oil sector is in need of numerous and huge projects in maintenance, rehabilitation, and future expansions in different fields in order to achieve production targets which need considerable efforts, Sanalla welcomed the entrance of the Egyptian companies pursuant to the official laws and the applicable contractual procedures of the state of Libya," the NOC explained.
Sanalla met on the sidelines of his visit to Cairo with delegates from the Italian energy company.
The NOC this week confirmed the western Sharara and El-Feel oil fields were reopened and connected to pipelines after a blockade that lasted almost two years.
"For the first time in nearly three years all our oil can flow freely," Sanalla said.
Combined, production capacity for both fields is 420,000 barrels of oil per day. Industry sources reporting to OPEC said crude oil production from Libya has doubled since August to about 600,000 bpd as national forces gained control over oil ports in the country.

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