TRIPOLI (Reuters) - A speedy return of Libyan oil output to pre-war levels is facing new obstacles as foreign firms struggle to negotiate who will provide security for workers vulnerable to attacks in the desert and in cities bristling with weapons.
The largest contractors working on Libya’s oil fields say most foreign companies still have no time frame for returning evacuated staff.
The majority of fields in the west, around Sirte and south of Mesla are still unassessed, according to one oil services company.
Nouri Berouin, chairman of the National Oil Corp (NOC), told Reuters daily output had risen to 430,000 barrels per day (bpd).
This is a summary of developments since oil began flowing in the second week of September.
* Libya’s online refining capacity is operating at around 90,000 bpd. It has five domestic refineries with a total crude distillation capacity of 378,000 bpd. NOC has said local crude and product needs would be given priority.
* These are Azzawiya Oil Refining Co (120,000 bpd), Sarir Refining (10,000 bpd), Sirte Oil Co (8,000 bpd), Tobruk Refining (20,000 bpd) and Ras Lanuf Oil & Gas Processing Co (220,000 bpd).
* Libya’s largest refinery, Ras Lanuf, is offline and expected to remain out of service until the end of the year, NOC chairman Berouin said last week.
* Azzawiya is operating at around 50 percent of capacity, or 60,000 bpd. The refinery was a crucial source of fuel supplies for Muammar Gaddafi and was kept running until shortly before Tripoli fell in August.
* Sirte Oil (sometimes referred to as Brega) is offline, due to its proximity to the battlefield at Sirte, one of the former leader’s last strongholds. It was operating until recently and supplying Gaddafi’s troops with crucial fuel supplies.
* Tobruk and Sarir are both fully operational and running on crude oil pumped from Sarir, an Agoco-operated field among the first to restart after the conflict began.
* The IEA said Libya last year imported about 80,000 bpd of refined oil products and exported about 100,000 bpd of oil products to OECD countries, mostly in Europe.
* Libya exports from six major terminals, listed below with loading volumes for January from the IEA: - Es Sider (447,000 bpd), Marsa El Brega (51,000 bpd), Ras Lanuf (195,000 bpd), Tobruk (51,000 bpd), Zueitina (214,000 bpd), Zawiyah (199,000 bpd), other unspecified terminals (333,000 bpd).
* Es Sider (447,000 bpd) is Libya’s biggest oil terminal and may take more than a year to be fully repaired, according to National Oil Corp’s Nouri Berouin. [ID:nL5E7L33YY] He told Reuters on Thursday several tanks had been set on fire, and that both the control room and the metering system at the port had been deliberately sabotaged.
* Marsa El Brega (51,000 bpd): Berouin told Reuters on Thursday that several tanks at Brega had been set on fire. Industry sources says it would take at least six months to repair war-damage there.
* At least eight cargoes of crude oil and condensate have been exported from Libya, with at least three of them heading to Asia, since the ousting of Gaddafi.
* The first oil exported was Mellitah crude and condensate. Sarir has become the most stable stream and it is the first crude to head to China. Zuetina and Sirtica are expected to be loaded in November.
Small teams have been deployed by most oil companies to restart production, but only five Libyan oil firms or joint ventures have started pumping crude.
* Agoco, based in Benghazi, has restarted three fields and is producing around 250,000 bpd. Two more planned restarts at Hamada and Beda on Oct 15 have been delayed.
* Melittah Oil, a joint venture with Italy’s Eni has restarted Abu Atiffel and Wafa, and combined output is at around 70,000 bpd. Eni is preparing to restart Bouri, while Elephant field suffered severe war damage.
* Zuietina Oil has restarted two fields and is producing around 30,000 bpd.
* El Harouge, a joint venture with Canada’s Suncor, is producing close to 20,000 bpd from Amal.
* Mabruk, a joint venture with Total has restarted its offshore Al Jurf field, which has ramped up to around 45,000 bpd.
* Waha Oil workers have been on strike for eight weeks and say they will not return to the company’s oil fields until the chairman of the company, who they accuse of cooperating with Gaddafi, is removed.
* Waha Oil workers say two fields, Dahra and Samah, escaped the worst of the war damage and could be restarted relatively rapidly, potentially producing around 180,000 barrels per day (bpd) within weeks of the engineers returning.
* The joint venture with American firms ConocoPhillips, Marathon and Amerada Hess produced around a quarter of Libya’s oil, equivalent to around 400,000 barrels per day, before the country’s civil war.
* Waha Oil’s fields were used as bases by Gaddafi’s fighters, bombed by NATO and then sabotaged by fleeing loyalist militia and some sites are still seen as unsafe to visit.
* Libya’s oil industry is run by the state-owned National Oil Company, which accounts for around 50 percent of the country’s output.
* NOC boss Berouin said all Gaddafi-era oil deals would be subject to an investigation, and the details of any corrupt dealings would be published because the Libyan people had a right to know what happened in the past.
* The top oil official also said all future deals would give preference to friends of Libya that had shown early support during the revolution.
* NOC will reassume full control of Libya’s oil marketing by the end of the month. Agoco managed its own sales during the conflict and will honor any agreements it made during the war, according to the oil minister, who says Libya still owes almost $1 billion in fuel payments for the revolution.
* The total equity share of the following foreign companies — many of which operate fields on behalf of Libyan National Oil Co — amounts to about 460,000 bpd.
The table below is based on data from consultancy IHS Herold and Reuters reports: Company ‘000 bpd Libya share Libya share Libya share
of total oil of total gas oil & gas
Reporting by Jessica Donati and Ikuko Kurahone; Editing by Anthony Barker