(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
French firm Technip announced Tuesday that it was awarded a major natural gas field development contract initially worth $500 million to rebuild a major oil drilling platform off the coast of Libya.
This would be the UN-backed Government of National Accord’s (GNA) biggest business deal since it arrived in Tripoli two months ago. The new government is trying to rebuild Libya’s economy, which has been in crisis since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 brought down oil production in Libya from 1.6 million barrels per day to now less than a quarter of that.
The French firm will reconstruct the Bahr Essalam oil field, which is 110 kilometres off the shore of Libya’s capital Tripoli, and will be connected to the Sabratha platform.
Technip will work with Mellitah Oil & Gas Libyan branch which is a joint venture between Libya’s National Oil Corporation and energy company Eni North Africa.
Natural Gas Europe reported that under the contract, Technip will carry out the total design, detailed engineering and deliver the project management, as well as procurement, installation, tie-ins, pre-commissioning and commissioning. This will be connected with the provision of a gas gathering system, comprising of production pipelines, subsea isolation valve (SSIV), umbilicals, as well as extensive diving and installation campaigns.
“The project demonstrates the desire of French companies to contribute to the petroleum sector, the backbone of the Libyan economy,” France’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
Phase one of the installation is set to start in 2017, while phase two will begin in 2018, and the company chose to work offshore from Malta due to Libya’s security situation.
“We are proud of this contract award, which is a strong recognition of Technip’s broad capabilities across a variety of areas. It is also testament to our team’s ability to adapt to the challenging market environment, and to provide solutions that still enable field developments,” Thierry Pilenko, Chairman and CEO of Technip said.
Libya has the largest oil reserves in Africa, and the country’s revenues rely almost entirely on oil exports.