NOC: Libya Still Testing Pipeline to Restart El Feel Oilfield


BENGHAZI, Libya, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Libya is still testing pipelines to restart the southwestern El Feel oilfield, a spokesman for state-run National Oil Corp (NOC) said on Monday.

NOC shut down the field last month when brief clashes forced the closure of the neighbouring El Sharara oilfield. Both sites use the same power supply.

NOC spokesman Mohamed El Harari said engineers were conducting technical tests including pipeline checks at the El Feel field, which is operated jointly by NOC and Italy's ENI SpA.

NOC has not published any recent production data, but El Feel was pumping at least 80,000 barrels a day earlier this year. El Sharara pumped almost 300,000 bpd until clashes between local tribesmen and state oil guards broke out last month.

NOC failed to resume output at the El Sharara field after tribesmen hostile to the Tripoli-based government blocked a pipeline running from there to the Zawiya port in November.

Separately, Libya's internationally recognised prime minister, Abdullah al-Thinni, said most oil ports were under the control of his government, which is challenged by a rival administration that holds sway in the capital Tripoli.

He also told a news conference in his government seat in the eastern city of Bayda that Libya had earned oil revenues worth 2.4 billion Libyan dinars ($1.8 billion) in October.

Thinni said the country's oil production was 900,000 barrels a day, without elaborating. A Libyan industry source said the figure included refined products consumed domestically plus the oil equivalent of the country's gas production. NOC last week put oil output including refined products at 755,000 bpd.

Thinni's government is recognised by the United Nations, but has been forced to work from the east since an opposing group seized the capital in August, expelling a rival armed force, and setting up its own government and parliament.

(Reporting by Ayman al-Warfalli and Ahmed Elumami; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Crispian Balmer)


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