* LUKOIL and Saras among 4-5 firms to supply gasoline -NOC
* Motor Oil Hellas and Tamoil also awarded volumes -traders
* Traders Vitol and Glencore won supply tenders for Nov, Dec
(Adds quote, detail)
By Jessica Donati and Emma Farge
LONDON, Dec 16 Libya's National Oil
Corporation (NOC) said on Friday Russia's LUKOIL and
Italy's Saras were among a pool of four or five firms
chosen to supply the country with up to three million tonnes of
gasoline in 2012.
"The best offers have been decided and we have informed the
companies that their offers have been accepted," a senior source
at the NOC said.
LUKOIL and Saras beat up to 35 other companies in the
scramble to establish ties with Libya's new oil chiefs.
Additional volumes had also been awarded to Greek refiner
Motor Oil Hellas and Netherlands-based Tamoil,
according to trading sources.
The NOC confirmed a Greek refiner was among the chosen
firms, winning a contract to supply around one cargo per month.
Further details on individual volumes assigned were unavailable.
"It depends, according to their offers. Some firms have
offered more than others," the NOC source said.
Libya's oil industry is rapidly recovering from an
eight-month civil war that forced its oil production to a
virtual standstill for much of the year.
Libya was Africa's third largest producer before the war,
pumping around 1.6 million barrels per day of crude oil and
exporting about 1.3 million bpd, mostly to European clients.
Exceeding expectations worldwide, the country's oil output
has hit 1 million barrels per day, its oil minister said earlier
this week after an OPEC meeting.
TRADERS OR REFINERS?
The decision to award the volumes to key refiners in the
Mediterranean marks a turning point after trading houses
supplied Libya with the bulk of its products during the past
It is also a further sign that Libya's oil industry is
resuming its pre-war activities. The NOC on Thursday named 10
companies that will get priority access to term supplies of its
These included traditional buyers among Europe's refiners
that stood by the country's new leaders in its civil war.
A source at a trading house said that the gasoline tender
results had not come as a surprise.
"Libya should be supplied by refiners, doesn't work for
traders," he said.
Trading houses Vitol and Glencore were chosen in
the past two months to supply Libya's government with fuel until
the end of 2011 in a move that was seen as increasing their
chances of snapping up crude oil deals for the following year.
But the NOC has traditionally only signed term contracts
with end-users and oil trading companies did not appear on the
initial list of allocations.
On the other hand, Libya's powerful oil body has said it may
yet award further volumes of crude oil to traders such as Vitol
and Glencore in future.
Libya's oil exports remain well below pre-war levels of
around 1.3 million bpd, but outward flows were expected to have
risen to around 500,000 bpd by December, more than double the
previous month's rate.
And while oil companies scramble for resources in the week
ahead, when negotiations for the delivery of distillate products
like diesel and fuel oil take place in Istanbul, the struggle in
Libya to keep the country united continues.
(Reporting by Jessica Donati and Emma Farge, additional
reporting by Simon Falush; Editing by Anthony Barker)