Libya’s El Feel oil field reopens after protest ends

Libya’s El Feel oil field reopens after protest ends
Updated 15 June 2014

Libya’s El Feel oil field reopens after protest ends

Libya’s El Feel oil field reopens after protest ends

TRIPOLI: Libya's western El Feel oil field has resumed production after security guards ended a protest that lasted more than two months, Oil Ministry officials said on Sunday, but many oil fields and ports remain blocked.
The reopening of El Feel is good news for the weak central government struggling with a budget crisis as a wave of protests at oil installations and rebbel violence have dried up oil exports, the country's main source of income.
Libya's oil output had fallen to less than 200,000 bpd in the past few weeks, down from 1.4 million bpd in July when a wave of protests started.
Much of the remaining output is used to feed the Zawiya refinery which supplies the west of the country. Motorists have been queueing for more than a week to refill in the capital Tripoli with some people sleeping in cars.
Acting Oil Minister Omar Shakmak told Reuters authorities had reached an agreement with protesters. "The protesters agreed to reopen the field which restarted work yesterday (Saturday) and today (Sunday)," he said.
Production at El Feel, located in the southwest, will reach 80,000 barrels a day within 24 hours, said Ibrahim Al-Awami, head of the ministry's inspection and measurement department.
Officials did not disclose more details about the agreement with the protesters.
Protesters shut down the field in late March to the western Mellitah port as part of a nationwide disruption to oil fields and ports to pressure the government over a range of political and financial demands.
The field is jointly operated by state-owned National Oil Corp. and Italy's ENI and was producing around 85,000 bpd before the shutdown.
Libya's eastern Hariga oil export port remained blocked by state security guards who were said they had not been paid for months.
A spokesman for state-oil firm AGOCO, which runs the port and connecting oil fields, said the Finance Ministry had paid out the salaries but the firm was still waiting for the guards to confirm their protest was over.
Last year, a group of rebels seized Hariga and three other eastern ports with the aim of exporting crude oil from there themselves. It took the government until April to reach an agreement with the rebels to relinquish Hariga and the Zueitina
port and to restart exports from there, only for Hariga to be closed again last month by protesting security staff.
The rebels have kept shut the larger Ras Lanuf and Es Sider ports pending further talks with the government. A fourth eastern port, Zueitina, is technically open but there is no currently crude to load.
The 340,000-bpd south western El Sharara field also remains closed. Protesters at the field and connecting pipeline have blocked production several times since October.
El Sharara feeds the Zawiya refinery which now gets supplied by cargoes from Libya's two offshore oil fields, reducing the country's exports.


Canadian firm pulls out of Carrefour takeover after France insists ‘No’

Canadian firm pulls out of Carrefour takeover after France insists ‘No’
Updated 30 min 36 sec ago

Canadian firm pulls out of Carrefour takeover after France insists ‘No’

Canadian firm pulls out of Carrefour takeover after France insists ‘No’
  • Carrefour has more than 12,300 stores in more than 30 countries and employs 320,000 people worldwide
  • Canada's Couche-Tard has offered to take over the French supermarket giant for 16 billion euro ($19.5 billion)

PARIS: Canadian convenience store chain Couche-Tard has reportedly pulled out of a multi-billion euro takeover of supermarket giant Carrefour after the French government said it would veto the deal.
Negotiations over the 16 billion euro ($19.5 billion) deal ended after a meeting between the French Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire and the founder of Couche-Tard Alain Bouchard, Bloomberg news agency said, citing sources.
French ministers had insisted Friday they would not agree to the takeover because it could jeopardize food security, an even more important consideration given the coronavirus pandemic.
In an attempt to reassure ministers, Bouchard had promised to invest billions in Carrefour, said he would maintain employment for two years and that the group would be listed on the Paris Stock Exchange in parallel with Canada, Bloomberg reported.
Contacted by AFP, neither Couche-Tard nor Carrefour had confirmed the information on Friday evening.
Although talks had stopped, anonymous sources cited by Bloomberg said negotiations could resume if the French government changes its position.
But on Friday, France’s Economy Minister made his choice public, telling BMTV and RMC: “My position is a polite, but clear and definitive ‘No’.”
“Food security is a strategic consideration for our country and one does not just hand over one of the large French distributors like that,” Le Maire said.
“Carrefour is the biggest private sector employer in France with nearly 100,000 employees,” he noted, and the group accounts for 20 percent of the food distribution market in the country.
The French statements have not convinced the Canadian government.
A Canadian federal source said while they could understand concerns over allowing a foreign firm to take over such a large national employer, concerns over food security were unsubstantiated.
“But we cannot accuse a leading Canadian company like Couche-Tard of endangering the food sovereignty of an entire country,” the source, who requested anonymity, told AFP.

'Food sovereignty'
On Wednesday, Couche-Tard submitted a non-binding offer for Carrefour, valuing the group at more than 16 billion euros ($19.5 billion).
Le Maire made clear immediately that he was not in favor of a deal involving “an essential link in food security for the French, of food sovereignty.”
The government’s reaction had caused “surprise” at Carrefour itself, according to sources who said the comments were “premature” given that merger discussions had barely begun.
“We haven’t decided yet whether the interest shown is attractive for us,” one company official said on condition of anonymity earlier in the week.
Carrefour has more than 12,300 stores of various formats in more than 30 countries and in 2019 generated a net profit of 1.3 billion euros ($1.5 billion) on revenue of 80.7 billion euros ($97.4 billion).
It employs 320,000 people worldwide.
Couche-Tard has a worldwide network of more than 14,200 stores and earned a net profit of $2.4 billion on sales of $54 billion in its last complete year.
In the United States and several European countries, as well as in Latin America and southeast Asia, it operates under Circle K and other brands.