Libya Praises Energy Cooperation with Italy


The Libyan Ambassador in Rome, Muhannad Younes praised the historic cooperation between Libya and Italy in the field of oil and gas.

During his speech at the conference “Energy for Italy and the EU: Sources and Rules of the Energy Market”, the Libyan diplomat said that “Libya has large investments with the Italian company Eni during the past five decades.”

Muhannad added that “one of the first pioneering projects between the two countries is the Green Streamline for exporting Libyan gas from Libya’s Sabratha to Sicily in Italy, with a joint investment between the two countries.”

He stressed that Libya is “supportive of Italy being a major center for gas distribution from North Africa to Europe.” This is in reference to the investments recently signed in Tripoli between Libya and Italy with a contract worth $8 billion dollars.

In January, Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) signed the $8 billion dollar deal with Italy’s state-run energy company ENI to develop two Libyan offshore gas fields. This comes as European nations seek to cut their dependence on Russian energy.

ENI will help develop two offshore fields, with production expected set to start in 2026, the company said on 28 January.

The Italian giant estimated the fields could produce about 7.5 billion cubic meters of gas a year, or more than two-thirds of the amount Italy imported from Russia last year.

European nations have been rushing to purchase natural gas from non-Russian sources, including North Africa, following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Eni’s Chief Operating Officer, Giuseppe Ricci said Monday that the firm has reduced dependence on Russian gas imports from 40% to 7-8%. “Within two years we will completely free ourselves from these imports,” he explained at a conference in Italy.

Ricci revealed that all alternative gas sources that pass through the Mediterranean will be promoted through a pipeline extending from Libya and Algeria, and the TAP line coming from Azerbaijan. This is in addition to LNG re-condensation stations. He stressed that “energy security can only be achieved through diversification.”

In April, the Italian Environment Minister, Gilberto Pichetto-Fratin said that Italy had overcome its dependence on Russian gas thanks to African gas from Libya and Algeria.

He told Corriere della Sera newspaper that “Russia used to account for 40% of our gas needs, but today Italy can import a little over 10%.” He confirmed that Italy “has actually overcome its dependence on Moscow by increasing gas imports from the east via the TAP (Trans Adriatic Pipeline) and from Africa thanks to new agreements with Libya and Algeria.”