[Opinion] Re-Integrating the Libyan Pipeline Networks

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[Opinion] Re-Integrating the Libyan Pipeline Networks

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Libyan national flag (copyright by Shutterstock/Leo Altman)
Libyan national flag (copyright by Shutterstock/Leo Altman)

Libya is one of OPEC members and possesses 7 Oil Exporting Ports along the 2,000 km on the southern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, giving it the advantage of being the most attractive customer to the European Refineries, besides its crude high API viscosity. In the last decade, Libya suffered from political conflict and security instability. Thus, the country's income was affected by the interruption of oil and gas supplies, Libya's single source of income. Militia rivalries impedes peace efforts in Libya, bringing oil operations to a halt for over three years (2015-2018). Oil in the pipelines remained stagnant throughout this period with no additional protection against corrosion, as all cathodic protection systems were ineffective since the solar units feeding the batteries of the transformers rectifiers were stolen. Meanwhile, the transportation infrastructure has not been immune to these conflicts and interactions, mostly old pipelines transporting oil from fields in the middle of the desert to coastal terminals, built in the 1960s in the early days of the Libyan oil industry. Since then, thousands of pipelines were installed all over the place, and among those pipelines network, almost 1,000 km of variously sized pipelines transporting about one-third of Libya's total production is operated and maintained by Harouge Oil Operations.

During the years of stability, pipelines were under scheduled planned maintenance programs, and productions were flowing continuously, CP systems were monitored regularly, and Lines were scheduled to be pigged. Pipelines integrity management programs were supervised by specialists, and leaks rarely occurred. Unfortunately, the consequences of production interruption caused many challenges after the commencement of production in 2018, where we suffered many leaks daily, which caused harm to the surrounding areas (contaminated soil) and losses of hundreds of barrels of oil.

Pipeline networks in Libya are owned by the National Oil Operations and proper judgements needed to be made to overcome these challenges.

Pipelines operators approached different scenarios to remedy their pipelines based on different parameters such as fields production, type of leaks, area topography, ILI reports, etc. Using composite repair kits was raised to be used in emergencies as a quick and easy to install with elevated quality, even though considered a costly comparison with classic repair solutions such as steel clamps and sleeves.

AMNA 36 inch pipeline oil spillHarouge Oil Operations took several steps to eliminate losses of oil barrels and environmental pollution by initiating several projects in the last 3 years, based on the reports of the leak and the baseline inline survey results. Currently, completed one project for replacing 10.2 km of 24 inch pipeline between Bida & Assida junctions. Harouge's stepped forward and initiated two projects for replacing 80 km sections for its parallel 30 & 36 inches pipeline laid between Amal to Ras Lanuf Terminal. AMNA 36 inch pipeline materials were purchased and delivered at the site earlier 2020, and due to COVID 19 pandemic, the bidding process delayed and presently project construction to commence at the site this Summer by CPPE contractor, and the project is targeted to be completed by the end of Spring 2022. Prior to completing the AMNA pipeline, Harouge would be in a position to give the go ahead for a Contractor who will be awarded an EPC project for MESLA 30 inch 80 km pipeline replacement targeted to be completed by December 2022. Harouge's strategy is to ILI survey all of its networks once the maintenance of the most corrosive parts of these major pipelines is completed. Upon the interpretation of the ILI survey data. Harouge's experts would assess and decide the suitable solution for the integrity of these pipeline networks.

Future years will experience a high level of investments in the Libyan Oil & Gas industry to remediate its assets and increase its production rates. Overseas contractors, consultancies, and suppliers would have an opportunity to anticipate and cooperate with us to achieve our goals. And particularly to enhance the integrity of Libya's pipeline's networks to be safe, secure, and operating in a friendly environment back again.


Submitted by Richard Ian MacMoy (not verified) on Tue, 08/24/2021 - 14:59 Permalink

Security First; are they going to be Russian or Western security forces?
Next, who has the know how to do the work on the wells and on the pipeline?

Submitted by Louai (not verified) on Fri, 08/27/2021 - 16:41 Permalink In reply to by Richard Ian MacMoy (not verified)

All Oil Fields and Terminals wether east or west of Libya are Secured by the Petroleum Industrial National Guards . And their aren't any foriegn force within or nearby the Oil fields as far as I'm acknowledged presently.

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