* Libyan gas flows to Italy halted Saturday
* Libya said order had been restored at complex
* Eni said Mellitah plant restarted on Monday
(Recasts lead, adds detail)
TRIPOLI, March 6 Gas exports to Italy from
Libya's Mellitah complex were expected to resume "in the next
few days" after a stoppage on Saturday, the chairman of the
joint venture between Libya's national oil firm and Italy's Eni
Gas flows through the Greenstream pipeline were interrupted
on Saturday following military skirmishes at the oil and gas
Mellitah chairman Abdulfattah Shagan, who had visited the
complex on Tuesday, said on Wednesday gas and oil operations had
resumed at its Wafa fields and the venture was preparing to
resume offshore gas production at Bahr Al-Salam.
He said the venture would increase oil output at its
Elephant field in southwestern Libya after having had to reduce
production there and at Wafa by 25 percent.
"The situation is getting better," he told Reuters.
Italian gas grid operator Snam had said it did not
expect gas flows to Italy to restart on Wednesday.
On Monday Eni, the biggest foreign oil and gas player in
Libya, said the plant at Mellitah had been restarted.
On the same day Libya said the army had restored order at
the complex which lies near Tripoli but added gas exports to
Italy would remain suspended and oil production cut back for
Libya's official LANA news agency said on Tuesday Mellitah's
local gas pipeline had restarted to supply power plants in the
northern towns of Harcha, Khoms, Sawani and Misrata.
Italy imports around 90 percent of its gas needs, mainly
from Russia and Algeria.
The Greenstream pipeline which carries gas from Libya to
Italy has a capacity of at least 8 billion cubic metres per
(Reporting by Ali Shuaib, additional reporting by Stephen
Jewkes; Writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchain; Editing by William