Gas Pipeline Libya-Europe Repaired, Shipments Restored
A natural gas pipeline from Libya to Italy has been repaired, allowing the restart of shipments, according to an announcement of Ahmed Bani, spokesperson of the National Transitional Council (NTC).
"The gas pipeline is back and running, supplying the pump stations and the Mellitah (gas processing) refinery. Gas will start flowing to Europe," Bani told a news conference Sunday, without specifying a timeframe for the resumption of supplies.
The 510 km GreenStream BV undersea pipeline system between Mellitah, just west of the Libyan capital Tripoli, and Gela in Italy is 50 percent owned by Italian oil company ENI .
The pipeline, which supplied about 10 percent of Italy's natural gas imports in 2010, was shut down in February shortly after the start of an uprising against Muammar Gaddafi.
Bani also pointed out that the closure had resulted in losses amounting to nearly EUR 1 M per day worth of gas.
Resuming gas shipments would hugely facilitate the rebel forces, which need cash to cash to impose security, pay salaries, and restart basic services in the parts of Libya no longer controlled by Gaddafi.
TNC is now in control of much of Tripoli, but the city of two million has been plagued by shortages of water, food and medicine.
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