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“Italy’s plans to become the EU’s energy hub start with a first reality check in Libya”

In an analysis on Italian PM Meloni’s visit to Libya, Francesco Sassi, a Research Fellow Energy Geopolitics & Markets at the Ricerche Industriali ed Energetiche Research Institute in Bologna, Italy, writes on twitter:

“According to the Libyan oil ministry of the Government of National Unity (GNU), the deal signed between Italy’s ENI and Libya’s NOC violates numerous internal laws. In particular, it raises ENI’s share to 37% from the current 30% without any previous approval by the ministry… According to the 🇾oil ministry, 🇹ENI should bear more of the investment costs, which are not equally shared between ENI & NOC.”

He adds: “The agreement is aimed at developing the A&E structures, containing around 170 bcm of reserves, starting production from 2026, for at least 25 years. The A&E Structures gas would fuel both the Libyan domestic market and the Libyan-Italian Greenstream export pipeline. This will strengthen Libyan gas exports to Europe, subdued in the last 10 years due to the consequences of the Civil War erupted in 2011 and the lack of domestic financial resources.”

He warns:

“However, the new legal and political controversy raised by the Libyan oil ministry tells much about the chaotic political landscape in which the deal is embedded into…The GNU needs to deal with external enemies and hundreds of armed groups… The deal has raised alarming frictions within the UN-backed government of Abdula Hamid Dbeibah. The Libyan oil ministry, headed by Mohamed Oun, has clashed multiple times against NOC’s Chairman Bengdara and is willing to influence Libyan energy policies. Libya’s oil minister said on Sunday that he was suspending the head of the state oil company, escalating a dispute between the two – but with a move that he may struggle to enforce.”

Sassi then concludes:

“Italy’s plans to become the EU’s energy hub start with a first reality check in Libya. Rome plays the energy card to also stabilise the country & limit immigration flows to its Southern regions. Yet, the new deal risks to undermine the legitimacy of the already-fragile GNU government.”


Picture: Italian PM Giorgia Meloni (Copyright: By, Attribution, )