Unrest hits Libyan output

Unrest in Libya caused several oil-industry companies to say they were halting output in Africa’s third-largest producing country.

Spain’s Repsol and Italy’s Eni said they had shut in production. Austia’s OMV also said it was expecting “a temporary reduction” of its Libyan production and “cannot exclude a complete stop”.
US oil companies including Marathon Oil and Occidental Petroleum Corporation said production was unaffected.

The companies did not specify the oil volumes affected but Repsol said it shut the El-Sharara oilfield, which an industry source said pumps about 200,000 barrels per day – 13% of Libya’s estimated 1.6 million bpd output.

“We have suspended all operations in Libya today because of the violence and uncertainty,” said a spokesman for Madrid-based Repsol, which on its website had net 2009 Libyan output at almost 35,000 bpd, the most recent figure available.

Eni said it temporarily stopped some oil and natural gas output. It said none of its Libyan plants and facilities had been damaged, Reuters reported.

Yesterday, BASF unit Wintershall confirmed it was winding down output of as much as 100,000 bpd.

A number of companies including BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Suncor Energy said they were pulling out staff, but had not confirmed any production impact.

Schlumberger, the world’s largest oilfield services company, was shutting down operations in Libya. Chief executive Andrew Gould cited “disturbing” events in Libya, which accounts for 1% of Schlumberger’s overall revenue.

Opec member Libya is Italy’s biggest oil supplier and covers about 10% of its natural gas needs through the underwater pipeline Greenstream, controlled by Eni.

Eni said gas supplies from Greenstream were suspended but also that it could meet demand from its clients.


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