By Jamal Adel.
Tripoli 14 June 2014:
The El Fil (Elephant) . . .[restrict]oilfield in southwest of the country resumed production on Thursday after the local Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) lifted its blockade.
“We resumed production in the oilfield on Thursday, as protestors from nearby Murzuk have called off their demonstration in the facility” El Fil oilfield manager Abdulfatah Bani told the Libya Herald.
The oilfield was shut down on 17 May by mainly Tebu PFG brigade members from Murzuk who demanded extra payments.
“We met with a committee from the protestors who explained their demandes which they’ve already told the government about,” explained Bani.
“We re-started slowly but we expect to reach our normal production later today,” he said.
The oilfield, a joint venture between the National Oil Corporation and Italian energy giant Eni, is capable of producing 130,000 barrels a day.
Bani, however, expressed concern about the consequences of constantly stopping and starting production at the field. When it closed on 17 May, it had only reopened a couple of days before. Prior to that it was closed for a fortnight last September last year and for several weeks during the summer.
“The closing and opening process could severely undermine the integrity of mechanical equipment, and risk the functional and technical operations of the oilfield machinery,” he said.
In March, Eni’s Chief Executive Officer, Paolo Scaroni told the Libya Herald that constant oilfield blockades that forced production to stop, restart and stop again risked affecting the geology of the fields and the pressure bringing oil and gas to the surface, and thereby permanently damaging extraction. [/restrict]