Libya plans to develop its gas industry

Feb 19, 2002 01:00 AM

Libya, an oil-producing country, is planning to develop its natural gas industry through the exploitation of a field expected to produce 250 mm cfpd of gas, sources at the oil and gas prospecting company Al Waha said. Studies have indicated it is economically feasibile to develop the Faregh field, which includes an oil reserve estimated at 203 mm barrels as well as 3.8 tcf of natural gas.
A plant would be established for processing natural gas and pipelines would be built to carry crude oil north to the coast. A consortium of three companies from Japan, France and Italy recently won a $ 1.2 bn contract to exploit oil and gas fields in Libya. It was the first major oil and gas investment project to be awarded to foreign companies.

Under the project, Libya will be able to supply the European market, especially Italy, with 8 bn cf of gas annually through a 540 km-long sea pipeline linking Malita in western Libya to the city of Gela on Sicily. The North African country, which is reeling under USsanctions, has awarded investment projects for foreign companies in the industrial, health and tourism fields worth $ 368 mm. Libya was also set to approve more projects to foreign investors worth $ 354 mm.
Foreign Minister Abdel Rahman Shalkam has recently expressed disappointment with the volume of foreign investments, which he said were short of Libya's expectations. "Investments worth only $ 100 mm in a country where production reaches between $ 12 bn and $ 14 bn are not sufficient," Shalkam has told. He said he hoped the volume of investments would increase to no less than $ 8 bn to be worthwhile.

Libya has adopted a $ 35 bn, 5-year-plan, to end in 2005, to spur its economy. The plan aims at diversifying the economy and upgrading the infrastructure, including roads, ports, airports, water networks, services, public health and education.

Source: United Press International
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