Eni Manager Kidnapped in Libya

file photo: Mellitah complex

Published Jun 3, 2015 8:09 PM by The Maritime Executive

A manager for Eni’s Mellitah oil and gas joint venture was kidnapped in Libya on Monday.

It is not yet clear who is responsible for the kidnapping. Libyan Yousef al-Shoumanik was taken from a Mellitah operated complex but few details are available, and no one has claimed responsibility for his disappearance so far.

Staff read out statements denouncing the kidnapping of al-Shoumani, a member of the company’s administrative management team, on Libya's al-Nabaa television and in a video posted on a Facebook staff website. They demanded better protection for workers in the oil sector.

The Mellitah joint venture is co-owned by Italy’s Eni and Libya’s state owned National Oil Company. The companies operate the Wafa and El Feel oilfields and an oil and gas exporting facility in western Libya.

In February, Eni cut the number of foreign workers it had in the country, as Libya’s internal strife forced the closure of some fields.

Upstream Online reports that the joint venture is believed to have recently awarded OneSubsea a $330 million subsea production systems contract for work at the Bahr Essalam field in Block NC 41 off Libya.

Nation in Crisis

Libya's public finances, wracked by a dramatic loss in oil revenue that has been exacerbated by a power struggle between rival governments, are foundering.

The crisis has prompted the authorities in Tripoli, who control much of western Libya, to plan cuts to petrol subsidies, to delay public salary payments and to ban imports from cars to steel.

"Libya is on the verge of economic and financial collapse," U.N. Special Envoy Bernadino Leon, who has been trying to end a power struggle between the two governments, said last week.