The Western Libyan Gas Project is the first major project to valorise the natural gas produced in Libya through export to and marketing in Europe.
The natural gas comes from two fields: the first, the offshore field Bahr Essalam, is located 110 kilometers off the Libyan coast; the second, the onshore field Wafa, is close to the border with Algeria.
Eni is the operator with a 50% stake for the joint development of the fields. The other partner is National Oil Corporation (NOC), the Libyan state-owned oil company.
Eni's share of recoverable reserves is 950 million boe (barrels of oil equivalent). When fully operational, production levels will be 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year, 2 billion of which will be destined for local markets and 8 for export. The gas will be traded by Eni Gas & Power Division, one of Europe's leading suppliers: contracts for the sale of the entire quantity of gas to be delivered have already been stipulated with major European operators.
For the development of the Bahr Essalam field Libya's first offshore platform, called Sabratha, will be put in place. 38 wells will be drilled , 15 from the platform and 23 subsea. When fully operational, annual production is expected to be around 6 billion cubic meters of gas. Two underwater pipelines will transmit the gas and condensates to the treatment plant at Mellitah.
The development of the onshore Wafa field includes the drilling of 29 new wells (12 oil and 17 gas) and 8 work-over wells. The gas and condensates produced and processed at Wafa will be sent to the Mellitah plant through a 530 kilometers-long pipeline. When fully operational, annual production will be around 4 billion cubic meters of natural gas.
At Mellitah, on the Libyan coast, Snamprogetti, a Eni company leader of an international consortium, is constructing a treatment plant that will process the gas coming from Bahr Essalam. The gas, combined with the one already treated at Wafa, will be conveyed from the treatment plant to the compressor station and will be sent to Italy through the Greenstream pipeline.
At Gela, in Sicily, a reception terminal has been built, connected to the Snam Rete Gas national network; all operations have been performed with the aim of minimising the environmental impact.
The idea of exporting the gas produced in Libya was born in the 70s when oil and natural gas fields were discovered along the coast. Feasibility studies were conducted in the 80s and 90s; as a result Eni presented a project to develop two gas and condensate fields and a transport system to export 8 billion cubic meters of gas per year from Libya to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea.
Thus the extraordinary Western Libyan Gas Project was born, the largest work currently underway in the Mediterranean basin, thanks to which the historic Italian-Libyan cooperation is reinforced and a new page in the history of energy has been written.
The gas produced from the fields of Wafa in the desert and Bahr Essalam at sea is transported by pipeline to Mellitah on the Libyan coast to be treated; a part of it is then compressed and sent to Sicily through the Greenstream pipeline, while the rest is for the local market.
To realize the Greenstream it was necessary to identify the most suitable route considering two variables: the length of the line and the depth of the sea. The chosen path passes to the west of the island of Malta and arrives in Sicily after about 520 kilometers to a maximum depth of 1127 meters.
In this way the idea of bringing the Libyan gas to Europe becomes a reality thanks to three factors:
Last updated on 03/03/10