Libya can increase its natural gas production by 30 percent with an investment of up to $1 billion, Italy’s Ambassador to Libya Giuseppe Buccino said called at a panel discussion at LUISS University in Rome this week.
If Libya manages to overcome political disputes, it would have more stability, which would favor economic development, the ambassador said, as reported by Italian news agency Nova News.
Regarding Libya’s goal to increase its oil production – currently 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) – it is realistic to expect that the North African OPEC member could hit 2 million bpd in a year and a half or two if favorable conditions prevail and appropriate investments, Buccino said.
Libya is one of the countries Italy is looking for more natural gas supplies to, along with Algeria and Azerbaijan, Italy’s energy transition minister
Roberto Cingolani called earlier this month.
Libya exported around 3.2 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Italy last year via the Greenstream gas pipeline.
In March Cingolani called that Italy, which depends on Russia for 40 percent of its gas needs, would need at least three years to replace Russia’s gas supply.
Italy and other EU member states have accelerated plans to reduce their dependence on Russian gas following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. For the time being, the EU’s heavy dependence on Russian gas does not allow it to sanction Russian gas exports or to impose an embargo on Russian gas imports in response to the war in Ukraine.
Italy signed a deal with Algeria on Monday 40 percent more gas from the African gas exporter via the existing pipeline in the Mediterranean. As part of the long-term gas supply contract with Sonatrach, Italy’s Eni will increase the gas volumes imported via the TransMed/Enrico Mattei pipeline from next autumn.
More deals will follow, said Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi calledand noted that the deal with Algeria is a step towards reducing dependence on Russian gas.
Another Mediterranean EU country, Greece, plans to step up its natural gas exploration efforts to reduce its 40 percent reliance on Russian gas, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Tuesday.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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