Libya's Pipeline Infrastructure Showing Years of Neglect

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Libya's Pipeline Infrastructure Showing Years of Neglect

Fri, 06/11/2021 - 09:57
Oil production in Libya (copyright by Shutterstock/Max Sky)
Oil production in Libya (copyright by Shutterstock/Max Sky)

Libya's long-standing neglected pipeline infrastructure sprang a leak this week when an aging 32-inch pipeline carrying crude from the Al-Samah oilfield to the Es Sider port burst, and some of the oilfield’s production may need to be shut in.

The pumping operations at the field may need to be stopped, an oil engineer at the site and a source at the company operating Al-Samah, Waha Oil Company, told Reuters.

Currently, production at Al-Samah is estimated at around 285,000 bpd, according to Attaqa.

Due to insufficient investment in the repair and maintenance of oil infrastructure, Libya has had to contend with pipeline leaks in recent years.  This past January a leak forced the shutdown of an oil pipeline carrying crude to the Es Sider oil port, reducing the country’s oil production by as much as 200,000 bpd for a week.

Compared to last year’s eight-month-long blockade that crippled Libya’s oil production and exports, output has been relatively stable so far this year, but minor disruptions continued.

In April, Libya’s crude oil production dipped below the 1 million bpd mark for several days after the Arabian Gulf Oil Company, a subsidiary of NOC, said in mid-April that it had decided to halt production because of the delays in the budget that is planned to allocate money to the oil firm to repair and maintain infrastructure and keep oil production online.

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