Libya to buy gasoline from Greek, Italian, Russian firms in 2013

LONDON Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:51am EST

LONDON Jan 24 (Reuters) - Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) has chosen Greek, Russian and Italian firms as the winners of a tender to supply it with around 2.5 million tonnes of gasoline in 2013, traders said on Thursday.

The companies named include Greece's Motor Oil Hellas , Italian refiner Saras and Litasco, the trading arm of Russia's Lukoil. Two trading sources said Swiss-based trading house Trafigura also had won part of the tender.

It was not clear whether the full volume sought in the initial tender had been awarded, and the results were not confirmed by the companies or by NOC.

While Libya was Africa's third-largest producer before the uprising in 2011, pumping around 1.6 million barrels of crude oil per day (bpd), it lacks sufficient refining capacity to meet national demand for gasoline.

In addition, while crude flows have returned close to pre-war levels, protests over control of the NOC have targeted oil fields, terminals and refineries and have hampered production of both crude and products in recent months.

The NOC is headquartered in Tripoli, while workers in the east have called for more powers in the region, which accounts for around 80 percent of Libya's oil wealth, since the end of the war that ousted Muammar Gaddafi. (Reporting by Jessica Donati; editing by Jane Baird)