By Callum Paton.
Tripoli, 16 December 2013:
The Oil Minister, Abdulbari Al-Arusi, met on Saturday with the Libyan Oil and Gas Council to . . .[restrict]discuss bolstering support for foreign energy companies operating in the country.
Arusi met with the head of the council, Khaled Ben Osman, and other members including a representative from the eastern region and a number of businessmen from the private sector. They discussed a number initiatives to alleviate the pressure on foreign energy companies.
The meeting decided to activate two resolutions supplying maintenance, transportation and equipment for oil exploration and help foreign companies which have been hit hard by security concerns and blockades on oil and gas facilities.
Arusi said following the meeting that he was convinced of the need to support the private sector and to help it overcome the difficulties it faced. He added that he was ready to support the activation of all resolutions issued in this area to create a healthy environment for the private sector in Libya.
The country is currently producing 224,000 barrels of oil a day, a fraction of the 1.4 million b/d produced before a series of blockades by minority groups flared up in July. Eni, the largest foreign energy company operating in Libya, has seen a slump in its performance with its oil and gas production falling 3.8 percent worldwide in the third quarter of 2013 to 1.7 million b/d, largely as a result of problems in Libya. Similarly Wintershall, a subsidiary of the German conglomerate BASF, has reduced its presence in Libya to a core staff due to oil blockades on the coast, suspending its onshore production.