Libya exported more than 485 million barrels of oil in its first full year since the overthrow of its former leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Crude oil exports averaged 1.33 million barrels a day (b/d), in line with pre-conflict levels according to the latest data released by state-owned National Oil Corporation (NOC). However, domestic consumption stood at 144,296 b/d, significantly below the normal 300,000 b/d consumed in the country.
The largest export destination was Italy, with 139.9 million barrels or 383,275 b/d, representing almost 37 per cent of Libya’s total shipments. By comparison, China, the second largest export customer received only 132,058 b/d, or 12 per cent of the total, just ahead of France.
NOC did not reveal the revenues earned from crude oil exports. However, using the $109.45 a barrel average benchmark basket price from oil producers’ group, Opec, for the year, it is possible to estimate crude oil export revenues of $53.1bn for the year.
The state-owned company did reveal its share of the exports, at 379.5 million barrels or 1.3 million b/d. International oil company (IOC) partners exported 105.6 million barrels, or 289,429 b/d. Of these, Germany’s Wintershall was the largest foreign exporter, with 29,673,307 barrel or 81,296 b/d/.
The NOC data also highlights the IOC share of production from specific fields. The largest of these is the El-Sider field, which accounted for 44.5 per cent of foreign oil production in 2012, with more than 128,797 b/d. The field is operated by Waha Oil Company, a joint venture of US oil firms ConocoPhillips, Marathon Oil and Hess with NOC.
Libya’s largest refinery at Zawiya received more than 111,000 b/d, amounting to 70 per cent of domestic consumption. Total crude supplied to the country’s four refineries was 144,296 b/d, less than half the 378,000 b/d combined processing capacity.
The problem also affected upstream activities. Output from two of Libya’s main crude oil fields, El-Sider and El-Sharara were cut by protests and a pipeline leak in December, halting almost a third of Libya’s output.
The IOC share of production from the 350,000 b/d El-Sharara field, which is operated by Akakus Oil Operations, a joint venture of NOC and Spain’s Repsol, came to 41,612 b/d. Protests in the area led Akakus to reduce and then completely halt production for several days in December.
Downstream production has varied sharply at refineries where operations have been disrupted by strikes and protests. The 120,000 b/d Zawiya refinery was closed for two days in early November 2012, due to protests preventing production at the El-Sharara field, which supplies it with crude oil.