Libya

Will Libya’s Production Rebound As Its Largest Oil Field Re-Opens?

26 Apr 2017   Libya

Libya’s biggest oil field, Sharara, which has been offline for most of the past month, is set to reopen after the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) reached an agreement with protesters who have repeatedly shut down the pipelines that pump oil into the field, according to PFG chief, Brigadier General Idriss Abu Khamada. The deal that the PFG has reached will lead to the reopening of the Sharara field, which produces 200,000 bpd, according to Khamada. At the end of March, unnamed armed factions were said to have blocked production at the Sharara and Wafa fields in western Libya, cutting the country’s total output by 252,000 bpd . Sharara alone produced 220,000 bpd before the shutdown, accounting for a large part of Libya’s overall 700,000 bpd production until that point. It resumed pumping oil after a two-year pause last December. Less than a week later, Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) […]

Eni-Operated Libya Oil Field to Re-Open After Two-Year Halt

21 Apr 2017   Libya

El-Feel deposit has yet to resume output due to power outage Field known also as Elephant has 80,000 barrel-a-day capacity Libya’s El-Feel oil field, operated by a venture between Eni SpA and the state producer, delayed its long-anticipated restart after a two-year halt in operations that crimped the OPEC nation’s output. The field, also known as Elephant, reopened Wednesday, according to a person familiar with the situation who asked not to be identified because of a lack of authorization to speak to media. But it hasn’t started pumping yet as officials await guarantees on the field’s security, the state-run National Oil Co. said in a statement on its website Thursday. Output can’t resume until operations restart at Sharara, Libya’s largest oil field, because Sharara helps power El-Feel, NOC said. Sharara isn’t operating because of a valve closure. Idris Bukhamada, a petroleum facilities guard brigadier, also said that an electricity […]

Giant Libyan Oilfield Reopens After 2 Year Outage

21 Apr 2017   Libya

The El-Feel oil field in western Libya—operated by a joint venture between Italy’s Eni and Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC)—reopened on Wednesday after two years, and expects to start pumping oil as soon as a power outage is fixed, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing a person familiar with the matter. Should the field, also known as Elephant, start producing soon, it could add up to 90,000 bpd to Libya’s oil output that has been crippled by continuous faction fighting and political turmoil. Authorities are working to fix soon the power outage at the field, which has been closed since April 2015, Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) Brigadier Idris Bukhamada told Bloomberg. In December last year, NOC confirmed in a statement the re-opening of Shahara and El-Feel fields, with production capacity of about 330,000 bpd and 90,000 bpd, respectively, after Rayayina Patrols Company of the PFG, Western Branch, announced lifting of […]

Libya’s Haftar says Russian base not being discussed – RIA

13 Apr 2017   Libya, Russia

The question of a Russian military base being set up on Libyan territory is not being discussed, Russia’s RIA news agency quoted Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar as saying on Thursday. (Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Alexander Winning)

Libyan Oil Output Said to Drop to Six-Month Low on Field Halt

12 Apr 2017   Libya

Production cut to 490,000 barrels a day, person familiar says Country’s biggest field Sharara stopped pumping on April 9 Libya’s oil production fell by 30 percent to the lowest level since September as the OPEC producer’s biggest field stopped pumping just one week after reopening from an earlier halt. The North African nation’s output dropped to 490,000 barrels a day from 703,000 a day after the Sharara field shut, a person familiar with the situation said, asking not to be identified because of a lack of authorization to speak to media. Sharara pumped about 213,000 barrels a day before halting on April 9, the person said. The country is currently producing at its lowest level in more than six months, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The pipeline that transports crude from Sharara in western Libya to the Zawiya refinery also stopped operating on April 9. The National Oil Corp. […]

Libya estimates field closure costing $9.8 million per day

12 Apr 2017   Libya

The closure of one of the largest oil fields in Libya means a loss of about $9.8 million and the outage of huge volumes of oil, a national oil company said. Libya’s National Oil Corp. confirmed its Sharara oil field was shut down because of attacks by militants on regional pipeline infrastructure. The field has operated in fits and starts as Libya tries to push the momentum on the national security front toward the side of peace and emerged from a previous closure just one week ago. The NOC said in a statement the closure resulted in the loss of “immense” volumes of oil and natural gas designated for exports across the Algerian border. The loss from the shutdown was estimated […]

Libyan Oil Production Falls Further As Wafa Field Goes Offline

12 Apr 2017   Libya

Just a day after production at Libya’s largest oil field was suspended , the National Oil Corporation told local media that another field, Wafa, has also stopped producing. This could result in daily losses of as much as $10 million, NOC warned, adding that oil and gas from Wafa could siphon into Algeria, as the field is connected underground with Algeria’s Alrar. Sharara and Wafa together account for over 250,000 barrels of crude in Libya’s total daily output. Two weeks ago, an unnamed armed group blocked the pipeline feeding crude from Sharara and Wafa into the Zawiya export terminal, sending oil prices soaring. Production was resumed a few days later. This Sunday, reports of another pipeline block at Sharara emerged, again referring to those responsible for the block as unnamed armed groups. This situation was resolved more quickly, with intervention from NOC’s chairman Mustafa Sanalla, who managed to convince […]

Libya Biggest Oil Field Said to Shut for 2nd Time in Two Weeks

11 Apr 2017   Libya

Libya’s biggest oil field was said to stop producing, just one week after it reopened, the latest in a series of disruptions in the country’s crude output. The pipeline carrying crude from Sharara, Libya’s biggest field, to the Zawiya refinery stopped operating on Sunday, according to two people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak to media. It wasn’t clear why the pipeline was shut. The state oil company National Oil Corp. couldn’t be reached immediately for comment. Sharara, in western Libya, was pumping 200,000 barrels a day, the NOC said on April 4. The halt is poised to disrupt the country’s production which just returned to its normal levels of about 700,000 barrels a day. Clashes among rival armed groups in early March led to the closing of two of the nation’s biggest oil export terminals, forcing a number […]

OMV sees Libya as a natural fit

11 Apr 2017   Libya

Libya fits in well with a strategy of capitalizing on mature onshore oil basins and service to European energy needs, the head of Austria’s OMV said. Representatives from the National Oil Corp. of Libya met with their counterparts at OMV in Vienna. OMV Chief Executive Officer Rainer Seele said the joint meeting was indicative of the strategic value of Libyan oil. Libya holds, by OMV’s estimate, around 47 billion barrels of oil. Onshore areas are considered mature, though OMV said that’s where it’s positioned best. “Libya is an ideal technological fit for OMV,” he said in statements emailed to UPI. According to Libya’s NOC, both sides focused on developing technical studies to increase the reserve estimate and […]

Libya Biggest Oil Field Said to Shut for 2nd Time in Two Weeks

10 Apr 2017   Libya

Libya’s biggest oil field was said to stop producing, just one week after it reopened, the latest in a series of disruptions in the country’s crude output. The pipeline carrying crude from Sharara, Libya’s biggest field, to the Zawiya refinery stopped operating on Sunday, according to two people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak to media. It wasn’t clear why the pipeline was shut. The state oil company National Oil Corp. couldn’t be reached immediately for comment. Sharara, in western Libya, was pumping 200,000 barrels a day, the NOC said on April 4. The halt is poised to disrupt the country’s production which just returned to its normal levels of about 700,000 barrels a day. Clashes among rival armed groups in early March led to the closing of two of the nation’s biggest oil export terminals, forcing a number […]

Oil Rally Stalls as Libya Production Resumes

4 Apr 2017   Libya

Crude-oil futures fell on Monday, snapping a four-session winning streak, after the resolution of output disruptions in Libya brought the recent rally in prices to a halt. U.S. crude futures shed 36 cents, or 0.7%, to $50.24 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the global benchmark, lost 41 cents, or 0.8%, to $53.12 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe. The declines came after oil prices logged their strongest weekly…

Libya’s Oil Production Set to Rebound as Biggest Field Reopens

4 Apr 2017   Libya

Libya’s crude production rebounded to about 660,000 barrels a day as the OPEC nation’s biggest oil field resumed output after about a week of disruption. Force majeure on the Zawiya export terminal was lifted after pumping resumed Sunday at Sharara, the nation’s biggest oil field, Mustafa Sanalla, chairman of Libya’s state-run National Oil Corp., said Monday by phone. Libya’s overall production is 660,000 barrels a day, according to a person familiar with the matter who isn’t authorized to speak to the media and asked not to be identified. Libya’s output had dropped to about 500,000 barrels a day last week when production was halted at Sharara, according to the same person. Libya, with Africa’s largest oil reserves, is struggling to recover from years of conflict between rival governments and militias. Its production was exempted from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ production cuts, because of its internal strife. Some […]

Mysterious Outage In Libya Could Drive Oil Prices Higher

31 Mar 2017   Libya

It’s been a rollercoaster ride for Libya’s oil sector the last few months . With production from this important OPEC player swinging wildly with unstable politics in the country. And news this week suggests things just got worse for Libya’s oil industry — in a major way. Unnamed sources in the country told Bloomberg Wednesday that Libya’s largest oil field, Sharara, has been suddenly shut in. With the pipeline carrying crude from this massive operation having been completely idled. As a result, sources said Libya’s overall oil production has now fallen to 560,000 barrels per day. Coming just days after Libya’s National Oil Corp. had publicly pegged the country’s production at 700,000 b/d. That suggests the stoppage at Sharara has lowered production by 140,000 b/d — representing a 20% decline. With the shortfall happening virtually overnight, and with no apparent warning to oil traders. Here’s the most important point: […]

Libya’s Oil Output Falls to Six-Month Low as Field Shuts

30 Mar 2017   Libya

Libya’s crude production dropped to about 500,000 barrels a day, the lowest since September, as exports from the nation’s second-largest terminal at Zawiya were disrupted. The OPEC nation’s output has fallen from about 700,000 barrels last week since production halted at Sharara in southwest Libya following the shutdown of the pipeline that links the field to Zawiya, according to a person familiar with the matter who isn’t authorized to speak to the media and asked not to be identified. Shipments from Zawiya , west of Tripoli, are now under force majeure. An increase in Libya’s crude output since late last year faltered this month when an armed group took control of the nation’s biggest oil port at Es Sider , east of Tripoli, where the first tanker in weeks loaded on Monday, according to tanker tracking. The nation’s output averaged about 624,000 barrels a day in the past five […]

Libya’s NOC locked in new battle over oil sector powers

29 Mar 2017   Libya

Libya’s National Oil Corp, or NOC, has become embroiled in a new political battle as it seeks to defend its role as both policy setter and regulator in the oil and gas sector. NOC chairman, Mustafa Sanalla rejected plans from the internationally recognized government in Tripoli which would divide the state-owned company’s powers. The UN-backed Presidency Council (PC) issued an order Monday dividing the authority of Libya’s oil ministry between the prime minister’s office and the NOC. It also stripped Sanalla of his position as oil minister, a role he inherited by default in 2014 when nobody was nominated to fill the position. “I have asked the Presidency Council to withdraw its recent resolution. It has exceeded its authority,” Sanalla said in a statement late Monday on the NOC’s website. Under the order, the prime minister’s office will assume the role of a traditional oil sector regulator — signing […]

Libya’s Oil Output Drops After Biggest Field Closes

29 Mar 2017   Libya

Libya’s biggest oil field was said to stop producing, leading to a 20 percent decline in crude output from the country with Africa’s largest reserves. The OPEC nation’s output dropped to 560,000 barrels a day, according to a person familiar with the matter who isn’t authorized to speak to the media and asked not to be identified. The North African country was pumping 700,000 barrels a day, Mustafa Sanalla, chairman of state-run National Oil Corp., said on March 22. Oil prices rose as much as 2.2 percent. The pipeline carrying crude from Sharara, Libya’s biggest field, to the Zawiya refinery stopped operating, the person said. It wasn’t clear why the pipeline was shut. The NOC didn’t respond to calls seeking comment. The NOC declared force majeure on loadings of Sharara crude from the Zawiya oil terminal and on loadings of Wafa field condensate from the Mellitah terminal, according to […]

Libya’s oil output down 252,000 bpd due to armed protests

29 Mar 2017   Libya

A general view of the El Sharara oilfield, Libya December 3, 2014. Oil production from the western Libyan fields of Sharara and Wafa has been blocked by armed protesters, reducing output by 252,000 barrels per day (bpd), a source at the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Tuesday. NOC declared force majeure on loadings of Sharara crude from the Zawiya oil terminal in the west of the country and Wafa condensate loadings from the Mellitah terminal. Supplies were stopped by the shutdown of pipelines leading from the fields to Zawiya refinery and port, a Libyan oil source said. The identity of the group was not immediately clear and there had been no claim of responsibility, he said. The shutdown at Sharara, which had been producing about 220,000 bpd, began on Monday, a day after the Wafa shutdown, the NOC source said. There was no official comment from the NOC. […]

Libya’s Biggest Port Loads First Oil Tanker Since Clashes

28 Mar 2017   Libya

Libya’s biggest oil terminal loads its first tanker since fighting between armed groups earlier this month halted shipments from two ports in the country with Africa’s largest crude reserves. The Suezmax vessel Demetrios, which can carry as much as one million barrels, loaded from Es Sider for export to China, according to a person familiar with the situation, who asked not to be identified because the matter isn’t public. Fighting between rival groups erupted on March 3, disrupting output and forcing Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, the country’s third-biggest terminal, to halt shipments. Operations at both ports have since restarted after the clashes ended. Libya’s oil production has climbed back to where it was before the battle for control of the ports forced Waha Oil Co. , which feeds Es Sider, to suspend output. The country is producing 700,000 barrels a day and targets 800,000 before the end of […]

Libya’s National Oil Corp warns of new attempt at independent oil sales

27 Mar 2017   Libya

Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Sunday that it had identified “illegal” efforts to sell crude oil without its approval and warned potential buyers not to enter into such contracts. Factions based in eastern Libya have previously tried to sell oil independently of NOC in Tripoli, but their moves have been frustrated by U.N. resolutions that remain in place. “NOC identified a group of individuals abusing the current status of political division in Libya by entering into illegal contracts with unknown or unqualified companies,” NOC said in a statement without providing detail on who was involved. “These individuals, and others associated with them, have offered Libyan crude oil for sale at huge discounts below the official selling price (OSP).” The statement added that this could cost the […]

Libya sets goals for higher oil production

24 Mar 2017   Libya

Libya aims to increase crude oil production at some of its fields by 55,000 barrels to the extent that conditions permit, the nation’s main oil company stated. Officials with Libya’s National Oil Corp. met with representatives from Italian energy company Eni and Mellitah Oil & Gas, which ranks itself as the largest in Libya in terms of production. The NOC said all parties discussed increasing production at the Abu Attifel and al-Remal oil field by 55,000 barrels within the next few weeks “as per the scheduled plan and to the extent that resources permit.” Eni lists the fields in its portfolio and counts Mellitah as the operator. Oil is fed from the complex to the coastal terminal at Zuetina and then onto the […]

Libyan oil output rises to 700,000 bpd after port fighting ends: NOC

23 Mar 2017   Libya

Libya’s oil production has reached 700,000 barrels per day (bpd), the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Wednesday, recovering from a drop earlier this month caused by fighting at two key oil ports. “We are working very hard to reach 800,000 barrels by the end of April 2017, and, God willing, we will reach 1.1 million barrels next August,” NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla was quoted as saying in a statement. The NOC said in a separate statement it hoped to produce 55,000 bpd in the coming weeks from the Abu Attifel and Rimal fields, which are currently closed for maintenance. The fields are operated by Mellitah Oil and Gas, a joint venture between the NOC and Italy’s ENI. The NOC said Mellitah is currently producing 41,000 bpd […]

Libya’s Oil Production Rebounds Back to Level Before Clashes

23 Mar 2017   Libya

Libya’s oil production has climbed back to the level before clashes disrupted output three weeks ago and forced the OPEC nation’s two biggest oil ports to halt shipments. Output is 700,000 barrels a day and the target is 800,000 barrels a day before the end of April, Mustafa Sanalla, chairman of state-run National Oil Corp., said by email Wednesday. The nation’s biggest port, Es Sider, will load a tanker with crude on March 26, Jadalla Alaokali, board member at NOC, said earlier Wednesday by phone. Libya has sought to boost crude exports after fighting among rival militias hobbled oil production following the 2011 revolt that ousted former leader Moammar Al Qaddafi. The conflict showed signs of calming in recent months, with oil output rising to 700,000 barrels a day in February from 260,000 a day in August, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Libya pumped 1.6 million barrels a […]

Why Libya Oil Revival Hinges on Fate of Two Ports

23 Mar 2017   Libya

Libya’s ability to reclaim its role as a reliable supplier of crude depends on the fate of a pair of oil ports on the war-ravaged country’s coast. Es Sider and Ras Lanuf have changed hands twice this month as rival military groups have battled over them. The two ports hold almost half of Libya’s capacity to export oil from onshore terminals, and the country’s ability to sell abroad affects prices globally.

1. Why are the ports so important?

Libya’s oil ports have been a focus of competing political forces since central authority collapsed after the 2011 ouster and killing of strongman Muammar Qaddafi. Es Sider and Ras Lanuf are especially valuable because they are the main outlets for crude pumped at fields in Libya’s interior. When operating normally, Es Sider can export as much as 340,000 barrels a day, while Ras Lanuf can ship 220,000 barrels a day. Located in Libya’s so-called Oil Crescent along its central Mediterranean coast, the terminals together account for 47 percent of the total capacity of the country’s onshore oil ports. Whoever controls them has a grip on Libya’s most important source of income.

Why Libya Oil Revival Hinges on Fate of Two Ports

22 Mar 2017   Libya

Libya’s ability to reclaim its role as a reliable supplier of crude depends on the fate of a pair of oil ports on the war-ravaged country’s coast. Es Sider and Ras Lanuf have changed hands twice this month as rival military groups have battled over them. The two ports hold almost half of Libya’s capacity to export oil from onshore terminals, and the country’s ability to sell abroad affects prices globally.

Libya’s oil ports have been a focus of competing political forces since central authority collapsed after the 2011 ouster and killing of strongman Muammar Qaddafi. Es Sider and Ras Lanuf are especially valuable because they are the main outlets for crude pumped at fields in Libya’s interior. When operating normally, Es Sider can export as much as 340,000 barrels a day, while Ras Lanuf can ship 220,000 barrels a day. Located in Libya’s so-called Oil Crescent along its central Mediterranean coast, the terminals together account for 47 percent of the total capacity of the country’s onshore oil ports. Whoever controls them has a grip on Libya’s most important source of income.

The ports were badly damaged in fighting in December 2014 and closed for 21 months. The National Oil Corporation reopened the terminals in September, but they stopped shipping cargoes abroad this month because of the latest hostilities. The export halts have had a knock-on effect on oil production: storage tanks at the terminals become full, pipelines feeding them back up with crude, and fields that produce the oil must curtail output. The new round of fighting over control of the ports starting in early March curbed the country’s oil production but left the facilities almost undamaged.

Libya Ports Poised to Ship Oil as Workers Back After Clashes

21 Mar 2017   Libya

Libya’s major oil ports of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf are resuming operations and preparing to export crude after a two-week halt in shipments due to military clashes in the holder of Africa’s largest crude reserves. Libya’s total production rose to 646,000 barrels a day from 621,000 barrels on Sunday mostly due to an increase from Waha Oil Co., Jadalla Alaokali, a National Oil Corp. board member, said Monday by phone. Waha Oil feeds into Es Sider, the country’s biggest oil port. Staff are returning to Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, its third-largest, and exports are set to restart in a week to 10 days, Alaokali said Sunday. “Both ports are ready to restart exports,” Alaokali said. Waha Oil, a joint venture between the NOC, Hess Corp., Marathon Oil Corp. and ConocoPhillips, suspended production earlier this month after clashes between armed factions in the politically divided nation forced Es […]

Russia enlarges military footprint in Libya

21 Mar 2017   Libya, Russia

Libyan Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar, a fiery commander in eastern Libya, has declared war against radical Islamists, including the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but is controversial for perceived iron-fist tactics. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia TUNIS, March 20 (UPI) — Russia, 19 months after becoming a key player in the Syrian war, is increasing its military presence in Libya and is likely to back Libyan Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar in the tumultuous civil conflict. Haftar, a fiery commander in eastern Libya, has declared war against radical Islamists, including the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but is controversial for perceived iron-fist tactics. In September, Haftar gained control of main oil terminals in the country’s east but lost ground to Islamist forces early this month. While Haftar has received intelligence and security support from France, Britain and the United States, as well as backing from Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, Western countries […]

Who Gets Control Of Libya’s Oil As The Guns Go Silent?

21 Mar 2017   Libya

The Libyan National Oil Corporation expects to soon regain control over the Es Sider and Ras Lanuf oil terminals, which were the point of clashes between the Libyan National Army and the Benghazi Defense Brigades that ended last week with the LNA taking the ports back from the BDB. Although there was doubt as to whether the LNA would be willing to pass control over the ports to the NOC again, the company’s chairman told Reuters there is no reason to doubt. Doubts are likely to remain, however, as last week saw developments that may lead to the split of the NOC along government/parliament lines. The LNA is loyal to the Tobruk-based House of Representatives, the Libyan parliament, which opposes the UN-backed Government of National Accord. The GNA, together with Libya’s central bank, controls the oil export revenues from the four ports in the Oil Crescent. When the LNA […]

Libya Ports Poised to Ship Oil as Workers Back After Clashes

21 Mar 2017   Libya

Libya’s major oil ports of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf are resuming operations and preparing to export crude after a two-week halt in shipments due to military clashes in the holder of Africa’s largest crude reserves. Libya’s total production rose to 646,000 barrels a day from 621,000 barrels on Sunday mostly due to an increase from Waha Oil Co., Jadalla Alaokali, a National Oil Corp. board member, said Monday by phone. Waha Oil feeds into Es Sider, the country’s biggest oil port. Staff are returning to Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, its third-largest, and exports are set to restart in a week to 10 days, Alaokali said Sunday. “Both ports are ready to restart exports,” Alaokali said. Waha Oil, a joint venture between the NOC, Hess Corp., Marathon Oil Corp. and ConocoPhillips, suspended production earlier this month after clashes between armed factions in the politically divided nation forced Es […]

Exclusive: Libya’s NOC says expects to regain Es Sider, Ras Lanuf oil ports

20 Mar 2017   Libya

Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) has been coordinating with military forces from eastern Libya and has “no reason to believe” it will not regain control of the Es Sider and Ras Lanuf oil ports, NOC’s chairman said. The loss and recapture of the ports this month by the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) had raised doubts over its willingness to let the Tripoli-based NOC manage the ports. Revenue from the sites is controlled by a central bank and U.N.-backed government in the capital which pro-LNA factions oppose. Eastern officials accuse rivals in Tripoli and the western city of Misrata of supporting a March 3 attack on the ports by a faction known as the Benghazi Defense Brigades (BDB). An oil guard commander appointed by the […]

Russia Urges Calm After Libya Strongman It Backs Takes Oil Ports

17 Mar 2017   Libya

Russia urged restraint after a powerful Libyan military commander that it supports regained control of key oil facilities taken by forces loyal to the United Nations-backed government.  “We urge all the conflicting Libyan sides to show common sense and to refrain from the use of force to avoid the danger of escalation of civil conflict,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters in Moscow on Thursday.  Troops loyal to Khalifa Haftar, the eastern Libyan commander who’s in conflict with the UN-backed government in the capital, Tripoli, recaptured the country’s biggest port, Es Sider, and its third-largest, Ras Lanuf, on Tuesday after weeks of clashes that curbed oil production.  The fighting, including airstrikes, dealt a blow to international efforts to restore stability in the country that has Africa’s largest crude reserves. The ports had been seized by a rival group earlier this month that passed control of them to the government, which urged Haftar’s army not to bomb the oil facilities.

Oil production ongoing in Libya, OMV says

16 Mar 2017   Libya

A spokesperson for Austrian energy company OMV said oil production in Libya is ongoing and the opportunity for gains is expected this year.  Libya is one of the members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries exempt from a deal limiting oil production so it can steer its oil revenue toward national security issues. Libya has struggled with security issues at least since the so-called Arab Spring movements and production has been far below historic peaks at about 1 million barrels per day.  Industry sources reported Libyan production declined 111,000 barrels per day to around 600,000 barrels per day as conflict reignites in the so-called oil crescent. The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said Tuesday it’s seen reports of summary executions and torture in the conflict zones in Libya.

Libya’s eastern parliament speaker says Russia offered aid

15 Mar 2017   Libya

The speaker of the parliament based in the eastern part of Libya says Russia has promised military assistance. House of Representatives President Agila Saleh told Russia’s state RIA Novosti news agency Tuesday that authorities in the east have asked Moscow to help train army personnel and repair military equipment. Saleh says that “we were promised assistance in the fight against terrorism.” In January, Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter, a military chief allied with the parliament opposed to the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli, visited a Russian aircraft carrier off Libya’s coast and had a call with the Russian defense minister. Russia also hosted Faez Sarraj, the prime minister of the government in Tripoli, this month in an apparent effort to expand its clout in the fractured country by talking to both sides.

Libya Crude Oil Output Said to Fall 11% on Field, Port Closings

13 Mar 2017   Libya

Libya’s crude output dropped 11 percent as clashes among rival armed groups over the last 10 days led to the closing of some of the OPEC nation’s biggest oil export terminals, forcing a number of fields to halt production. Output fell by about 80,000 barrels a day to 620, 000 barrels since fighting among armed groups broke out on March 3, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because of a lack of permission to speak to media. Es Sider, the country’s biggest oil port, and Ras Lanuf, its third-largest, remain closed, according to the person. Crude production halted at Waha Oil. Co., which pumps crude to Es Sider. Waha is a joint venture between the state oil company National Oil Corp., Hess Corp., Marathon Oil Corp. and ConocoPhillips. The clashes dealt a blow to recent gains in the North African nation’s […]

Libyan Oil May Be Slipping Out Of Putin’s Reach

13 Mar 2017   Libya

Last Friday, news broke that the Benghazi Defense Brigades seized control of two major Libyan ports on the “Oil Crescent,” posing a real challenge to Khalifa Haftar and Russia’s grip on the area after weeks of clashes. According to the unified National Oil Corporation (NOC), the takeover of the Ras Lanuf and Es Sider ports has caused exports to fall by roughly 80,000 barrels per day to a rate of 620,000 bpd. The commercially vital area has now turned into a military zone with Haftar’s Libya National Army on the sidelines. The BDB clarified this week that it had handed the crucial ports over to the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG), which is allied with the United Nations-sanctioned Government of National Accord in Tripoli – an institution Haftar has repeatedly refused to recognize after multiple invitations to join its leadership hierarchy. The latest refusal came in Cairo, a city considered […]

Tanker to Libya’s Biggest Oil Port Diverted to Avoid Conflict

10 Mar 2017   Libya

An oil tanker that was scheduled to load crude at Libya’s Es Sider port changed its course to a different terminal in the west of the country as clashes in the eastern region keep the main export terminals out of service. Waha Oil Co. halted production due to the conflict. The tanker Overseas Redwood, originally due to load 630,000 barrels of crude at Es Sider on Thursday, will arrive instead at the port of Zawiya, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Production from Waha Oil. Co., a joint venture between the state oil company National Oil Corp., Hess Corp., Marathon Oil Corp. and ConocoPhillips, is now suspended as key ports have been closed for almost a week, according to a person familiar with the situation, who asked not to be identified because of a lack of […]

Libya’s Waha Oil May Halt Production as Clashes Keep Ports Shut

9 Mar 2017   Libya

Production from Waha Oil Co., a venture between Libya’s state oil company and foreign partners, may be suspended Wednesday as clashes in the country’s eastern oil region keep the main export terminals out of service. “Output from Waha Oil Co. continues to be reduced and may reach a complete halt within coming hours,” Jadalla Alaokali, a board member at National Oil Corp., said by phone. The Petroleum Facilities Guard, a United Nations-backed force, said Tuesday it took control of oil installations at Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, the country’s largest and third-largest oil ports, following their seizure by the Benghazi Defense Brigades militia in early March. The ports had previously been controlled by eastern-based military commander Khalifa Haftar. Libya’s total crude output remains stable at 671,000 barrels a day as increases in production from other companies, including Arabian Gulf Oil Co., have countered the decline from Waha’s fields, according […]

Oil pulled higher by Libyan unrest

8 Mar 2017   Libya, Prices

Oil prices moved higher early Tuesday morning as threats to Libyan security balanced against reports that U.S. oil production gains could slow momentum. NATO allies expressed concern that fighting in and around the main oil installations in Libya was a sign that unity was again under threat. Libya is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries that’s exempt from a group-wide production ceiling, though fighting has led to output cuts of around 37,000 barrels per day, or about 5 percent of total production based on January data. Libyan woes added to a complicated narrative for the oil markets so far this year. Crude oil prices have settled at around $55 per barrel since OPEC agreed to limit […]

NATO allies fret over security of Libya’s oil

8 Mar 2017   Libya

The escalation of violence in and around the oil installations of Libya are cause for growing international concern, a joint statement from NATO allies said. A joint statement from the French, British and U.S. ambassadors to Libya voiced strong condemnation over the escalation of violence that threatens Libyan oil and the associated infrastructure. Libya’s political and national security situation has oscillated between near-collapse and near-recovery since the fall of the regime of Moammar Gadhafi after civil war erupted during the Arab Spring democratic uprisings that began in 2011. Once a main contributor to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the nation’s oil wealth has been in the crosshairs of the fight for post-Gadhafi control over Libya. A report Monday in the Libya Herald cited […]

Libya Crude Output Edges Higher After Clashes at Main Oil Ports

8 Mar 2017   Libya

Libya’s crude production made a partial recovery after clashes between rival armed groups led to a halt in shipments from two of the OPEC member’s biggest oil ports. Output rose on Tuesday to 673,200 barrels a day from 663,000 the previous day, said Jadalla Alaokali, a board member of Libya’s National Oil Corp. The increase came from oil fields operated by Arabian Gulf Oil Co., an NOC unit known as Agoco, which had curtailed production in recent days due to security concerns, he said by phone. Output should rise further in coming weeks with oil from the Abu Attifel field operated by Mellitah Oil & Gas Co., he said. The Benghazi Defense Brigades, a militia group, captured the ports of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf in an offensive that began on March 3. The ports had been under the control of eastern-based military commander Khalifa Haftar. The Brigades are ready to hand the ports over to the NOC, Mustafa Al-Sharkasi, the group’s leader, said in remarks broadcast Monday by local AlNabaa TV.

The clashes at Es Sider, Libya’s biggest oil port, and Ras Lanuf, its third-largest, jeopardize recent gains in Libya’s oil production. Exports had resumed from Es Sider and other facilities that were previously blockaded amid fighting in the country, which has Africa’s largest crude reserves. Production in February was almost double the level of the previous year, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Libya Oil Output Falls as Fresh Clashes Force Ports to Shut

7 Mar 2017   Libya

Libya’s crude output dropped after clashes forced two of the country’s biggest oil ports to shut down, threatening the OPEC member’s efforts to revive the production of its most important commodity. The North African country’s production fell to 650,000 barrels a day from about 700,000 barrels a few days ago, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the person isn’t authorized to speak to media. Crude shipments from Es Sider, the nation’s largest oil port, and Ras Lanuf, its third-biggest, have been suspended until security improves and workers return to the facilities, Jadalla Alaokali, a board member of Libya’s National Oil Corp., said by phone. Production from fields feeding the ports has declined and may be cut further if the two terminals remain shut and the situation doesn’t improve soon, he said. The Benghazi Defense Brigades, a militia not allied […]

Libya militias who seized oil terminals aim to take Benghazi

7 Mar 2017   Libya

Libyan militias that occupied two key oil terminals last week said Monday they intend to take the eastern city of Benghazi and unseat Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter, who controls the area.  Col. Mustafa Alsharksi, leader of the so-called Benghazi Defense Brigades, said more than 3,000 men are poised to continue eastward now that they have taken over the oil terminals of al-Sidra and Ras Lanuf.  The move threatens to escalate the conflict between Libya’s two competing parliaments and governments, each backed by a set of militias, tribes and political factions, and potentially damage the contested oil installations.

“Our main goal is to return our city,” Alsharksi said at a news conference in Misrata. “Our main goal is to reject and say no to oppression, say no to military rule (of Hifter),”  The militias are comprised of Islamic militants and former rebels recently defeated by Hifter’s forces in Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city. They were joined by militiamen from the western city of Misrata.  Alsharksi, who described Hifter as a “criminal,” said his forces will continue to ensure oil revenues go to the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli.  The Hifter-allied army units say they have deployed more forces in preparation for a counterattack to drive out the militias, describing the militias’ recent advances as “a war against a whole region” that “they will not win.”

Fighting for Libya’s Oil Raises Questions Over Eastern Strongman

7 Mar 2017   Libya

Libya’s slow-burn conflict swept into two of its most important oil facilities late last week, shutting ports and triggering a drop in crude output in the OPEC nation. The attacks in the oil crescent were a setback to a military commander based in Libya’s east who wants — with the help of allies including Russia and Egypt — to expand his influence all the way to the capital, Tripoli. Here’s a look at why they matter for a country that has collapsed into fiefdoms since the ouster of Muammar Qaddafi. Who’s fighting whom? The offensive on Es Sider, Libya’s largest export terminal for oil, and Ras Lanuf, its biggest refinery, began March 3 and was led by the Benghazi Defense Brigades. The militia is mainly composed of Islamist-leaning rebels and former army […]

Libya’s Biggest Oil Port Seized in Blow to Production Surge

6 Mar 2017   Libya

Libya’s biggest oil port was seized by an armed group, dealing a blow to the North African country as it seeks to revive production of its most important commodity. Brent crude futures climbed. The Benghazi Defense Brigades, a militia that’s not allied to the United Nations-backed government in Tripoli, took control of the Es Sider terminal on Friday afternoon, according to people with knowledge of matter who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak to the media. The facility had previously been under the control of eastern-based military commander Khalifa Haftar. “That is a considerable blow to Haftar,” said Mattia Toaldo, senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. “We have to see if there is an immediate impact on exports. But for confidence in Libya’s production it’s a blow.” The clashes show just how vulnerable Libya’s recent oil-production surge is to conflict […]

Libya Oil Output Falls as Fresh Clashes Force Ports to Shut

6 Mar 2017   Libya

Libya’s crude output dropped after clashes forced two of the country’s biggest oil ports to shut down, threatening the OPEC member’s efforts to revive the production of its most important commodity. The North African country’s production fell to 650,000 barrels a day from about 700,000 barrels a few days ago, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the person isn’t authorized to speak to media. Crude shipments from Es Sider, the nation’s largest oil port, and Ras Lanuf, its third-biggest, have been suspended until security improves and workers return to the facilities, Jadalla Alaokali, a board member of Libya’s National Oil Corp., said by phone. Production from fields feeding the ports has declined and may be cut further if the two terminals remain shut and the situation doesn’t improve soon, he said. The Benghazi Defense Brigades, a militia not allied […]

Armed faction enters major Libyan oil port

4 Mar 2017   Libya

An armed faction entered a major Libyan oil terminal and a nearby airport on Friday, after attacking forces that have controlled the terminals since September, officials and residents said. The terminals at Es Sider and Ras Lanuf are two of Libya’s largest, with potential combined production capacity of about 600,000 barrels per day (bpd). The new uncertainty over their status could be a blow to Libya’s hopes of further reviving its oil production. It was unclear who controlled the ports late on Friday. There was no statement from the Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC) in Tripoli, which reopened the ports after the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) took them over seven months ago. Since then the LNA’s opponents have launched several unsuccessful attacks against the ports in Libya’s eastern […]

Libya’s Biggest Oil Port Seized in Blow to Production Surge

4 Mar 2017   Libya

Libya’s biggest oil port was seized by an armed group, dealing a blow to the North African country as it seeks to revive production of its most important commodity. Brent crude futures climbed. The Benghazi Defense Brigades, a militia that’s not allied to the United Nations-backed government in Tripoli, took control of the Es Sider terminal on Friday afternoon, according to people with knowledge of matter who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak to the media. The facility had previously been under the control of eastern-based military commander Khalifa Haftar. “That is a considerable blow to Haftar,” said Mattia Toaldo, senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. “We have to see if there is an immediate impact on exports. But for confidence in Libya’s production it’s a blow.” The clashes show just how vulnerable Libya’s recent oil-production surge is to conflict […]

Libya signs deal with Russia’s Rosneft

22 Feb 2017   Libya

An agreement with Russian oil company Rosneft helps lay a foundation for the recovering oil sector in Libya, Libya’s top oil producer said. Meeting on the sidelines of an international energy conference in London, the head of the National Oil Corp. of Libya met with Rosneft Chairman Igor Sechin to lay the groundwork for investments in the Libyan oil sector. “This agreement with Russia’s largest oil company lays the foundations for us jointly to identify areas of cooperation,” NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in a statement . “Working with NOC, Rosneft and Russia can play an important and constructive role in Libya.” Libya’s oil sector is recovering following years of civil war that followed the downfall of the regime of Moammar Gadhafi […]

Rosneft Expands in Middle East With Libya and Iraq Oil Deals

22 Feb 2017   Iraq, Libya, Russia

Rosneft PJSC , the state-run producer headed by a close adviser of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is expanding its footprint in the Middle East by striking new oil deals with Iraq’s Kurdish region and Libya. Russia’s largest oil producer agreed to buy crude from Libya’s National Oil Corp., the state-run NOC said Tuesday on its website, without specifying the amount. The deal also provides for Rosneft to invest in exploration and production in the North African country. The Russian company announced on the same day it will buy Kurdish oil until 2019 and will study exploration and production opportunities in Kurdish areas, it said in a statement. “These deals combine potentially good economics for Rosneft and good politics for the Kremlin,” Chris Weafer, a partner at Macro Advisory in Moscow, said Tuesday by e-mail. “Expect more deals from Rosneft in the Middle East and North Africa and across the […]

As Haftar Moves Closer To Russia, Will Libya Become The Next Syria?

22 Feb 2017   Libya

Libya’s returning oil wealth could bring back cheap fuel, food and foreign goods in a subsidy-based system in the most optimistic scenario. But as oil prices and production rise, the future of new political developments hangs in the balance in a growing power struggle between Russia and the United Nations. Last week, the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya announced plans to reshuffle its leadership, which it hoped would be a way to bring influential General Khalifa Haftar—the GNA’s key rival—into the Tripoli-based organization’s ranks. Cairo hosted members of both parties to discuss cooperation between Haftar’s House of Representatives/Libyan National Army based in Tobruk and the GNA – which vowed a “180 degree turn” in relations if Haftar agreed to take a role within its hierarchy. But the meeting never happened. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi could not convince Haftar to accept a position within the GNA’s […]

Libya Crude Output Rises as Work Conditions for Big Oil Improve

16 Feb 2017   Libya

Libya’s crude production exceeded 700,000 barrels a day and is due to keep rising as working conditions in the conflict-ridden country improved for international companies like Eni SpA and Total SA , an official from the state oil company said. The North African country’s crude production is due to reach 1.2 million barrels a day by August and 1.7 million by March 2018 when the nation’s ports and export terminals will be operating at full capacity, Jadalla Alaokali, board member of Libya’s National Oil Corp., said in an interview in Cairo. Output at the El Feel, or Elephant, oil field is due to resume within one month, pumping 75,000 barrels a day, he said. Eni and Total are working in Libya without difficulty and Schlumberger Ltd . resumed operations in the country about three months ago, he said. Eni is due to start production from an offshore area in […]