Processing Magazine

Libya Seeks Italy''s Help with Fire at Oil Facility

March 14, 2011

According to the Associated Press, Libya''s de facto oil minister said the country''s crude production has fallen drastically and that he has reached out to Italian oil giant Eni SpA for help in extinguishing a blaze at an eastern oil facility snatched back from rebel fighters. The call for help by National Oil Co. head Shukri Ghanem demonstrated the country''s dependence on foreign oil companies'' expertise and the crippling impact of an exodus of that labor force as a result of the fighting in the OPEC member. Eni''s offices in Milan and Rome were closed Sunday and company spokesmen weren''t answering their cell phones. Forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi recaptured Ras Lanouf, a key refining and export complex, after fierce battles against the rebels. It is part of a concerted push to reclaim the eastern part of the country where at least four major export ports are located. Libyan state television reported Sunday that pro-Gadhafi forces retook the oil town of Brega, farther east of Ras Lanouf.