Wintershall's Libya oil output at 70,000 b/d; builds pipeline
London (Platts)--18Jun2012/742 am EDT/1142 GMT
Germany's Wintershall is currently producing just over 70,000 b/d of oil
in Libya, or around 70% of its output level from before the civil war in the
North African country, a senior company official said Monday.
Speaking at a conference in London, Wintershall vice president Klaus
Langemann said the company's output was being restricted by infrastructure
constraints and that production would rise once a new oil export pipeline in
Libya was completed.
"We are at more than 70% of our original production capacity, and we are
producing a little beyond 70,000 b/d," Langemann told the conference.
Before the unrest in Libya began in February 2011, Wintershall was
producing around 100,000 b/d from its fields in the country.
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Langemann said the company's production facilities suffered no damage
during the civil war, and that it was able to boost production up to around
50,000 b/d within a week of the end of the war.
He also said that Libya had asked Wintershall to help build a new export
pipeline together with the state-owned NOC and Agoco.
"We acted quickly, and the pipeline is now under construction," Langemann
said. "It will be finalized early next year."
This will help the company restore its pre-uprising output, Langemann
told Platts later on the sidelines of the conference.
"It's just a question of pipeline infrastructure," he said. "The wells
could produce more -- indeed our reservoir engineers told us the shut-in had
helped the reservoir 'relax', which is a good thing."
Langemann also said Wintershall was committed to a long-term future in
Libya, although he said the company's exploration efforts would depend on the
terms offered for new blocks.
"The terms are tough in Libya," he said, referring to the EPSA IV
"In the last rounds it was shown that companies over-bid," he said.
Libya has Africa's largest oil reserves, estimated at some 47.1 billion
barrels, and there is expected to be a concerted effort by international
companies to increase exploration with a view to developing the country's
resources since the death of former Libyan leader Moammar Qadhafi.
Asked whether Wintershall would take part in any future exploration
bidding rounds in Libya, Langemann said: "We wouldn't rule it out." For now,
though, Langemann said the political framework for expanding Libya's oil
sector was not yet in place.
"The decision-making regime is not there at the moment," he said.
Separately, Langemann also said Wintershall was looking at projects in
the UAE, specifically bringing in technology to help Abu Dhabi improve its oil
He said Abu Dhabi currently is short on gas as it reinjects large volumes
to help oil production.
"Looking at Abu Dhabi, they are deficient in gas -- we can bring the
know-how on enhanced oil recovery to allow them to use gas for the domestic
market," Langemann said.
Wintershall signed a memorandum of understanding with the head of the Abu
Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) in May 2010 on possible joint exploration
and development of a gas and condensate deposit in Abu Dhabi.
--Stuart Elliott, email@example.com
--Edited by Jonathan Fox, firstname.lastname@example.org