Libyan Protest Cuts into Gas Exports to Italy


TRIPOLI, Oct 1 (Reuters) – Libyan protesters have shut down a gas pumping station supplying a facility jointly run with Italy's ENI, reducing exports to Italy, Libyan officials and operating companies said on Tuesday.

Italy, which relies heavily on gas for electricity generation, gets most of its gas from Algeria and Russia but Libya is also an important factor in its supply chain.

The affected field feeds the Greenstream pipeline to Sicily, and gas flows into Italy from Libya halved on Monday from normal volumes, data on the website of Italian gas transport operator Snam showed.

The data showed import flows on Greenstream were around 8.5 million cubic metres compared with shipper requests for 18 mcm, which would make up around 10 percent of Italy's daily demand.

Protesters from Libya's Amazigh minority demanding more rights shut down the Nalut pumping station in the Wafa gasfield, the largest gasfield in western Libya that feeds the Mellitah complex southwest of Tripoli, according to an ENI source and a Libyan oil official.

Libya is already struggling to end protests at its eastern oilfields for the past two months that have cut its crude output to around 650,000 barrels per day in the worst disruption since its 2011 revolution.

(Reporting by Ghaith Shennib in Tripoli; Suleiman al-Khalidi in Amman; Stephen Jewkes; writing by Patrick Markey, editing by Henning Gloystein)


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