Image courtesy of Elizabeth Arrott/VOA News.

Italy’s Eni cut the number of expatriates working in offshore Libya Tuesday but said it will continue normal operations in the country.

An Eni spokesman told Reuters that its reduced expatriate staff level and its local workforce are large enough to maintain normal production operations in Libya.

“The presence of Eni expatriates in Libya is reduced and limited to certain offshore facilities,” the spokesman said.

Eni did not specify how many expatriates were working in Libya or how large the cuts were.

The country’s oil fields and ports have been the site of multiple attacks over the last few months as two rival parties fight for control of the oil rich nation.

Libya’s El Sarrir field remained shut in Monday after a bomb attack over the weekend damaged the field’s pipeline to Libya’s only operating land based oil port.

Although Libya has one of the largest crude reserves in the world political tensions have prohibited the country from producing at full capacity since dictator Muammar Qaddafi was overthrown in 2011.

The country’s oil production fell from a high of 1.6 million barrels per day to 350,000 barrels per day in December after opposition forces aligned with Islamist group Fajr Libya attacked key export terminals.

Eni is the largest foreign producer in Libya and was producing 280,000 barrels per day before Qaddafi’s regime was toppled.

The company currently operates two offshore fields near Tripoli and also holds gas acreage in Libya’s desert.



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