By Callum Paton.
Tripoli, 27 November 2013:
Widespread blockades of oil and gas production facilities, that have stopped all onshore, production have forced . . .[restrict]Wintershall, Libya’s second largest foreign oil company, to reduce its in-country staff to a “core management team”.
Yesterday Eni, the largest the largest foreign player, saw its international credit rating reduced by Fitch in part because of the loss of most of its Libyan production.
A Wintershall spokesman told the Libya Herald today: “Due to the protracted blockade of the export terminals at the coast, Wintershall has had to suspend its onshore production.
“The extent of our operational activity has changed, even been reduced because of that. In close co-operation with the Libyan NOC [National Oil Company], we are temporarily relocating a number of functions and will rely more on decentralised teams that can collaborate flexibly across multiple locations.”
Wintershall declined to comment on the size of its remaining staff in Libya but explained that “core teams have remained on site – with all functional positions. In that way, we stay ready to return to normal operation quickly when the situation improves.”
Libya accounts for three quarters of the firm’s oil liftings. A subsidiary of the German conglomerate BASF, Wintershall has confirmed that production at the offshore Al-Jurf field, in which it holds a 6.7% stake, has not been been affected. However, output at its largest Libyan properties, in blocks C96 and C97 has been suspended. Wintershall commented: “It is currently unclear when the blockade of the export terminals will be lifted and how quickly production in the Libyan Desert can be resumed.”
Before the revolution the company had been producing 100,000 b/d from Libya. By March this year output was averaging 83,000 b/d. [/restrict]