Libya Arrives for OPEC with Exports at a Trickle

Posted by Eric Haun
Monday, June 09, 2014

Libya's attendance at Wednesday's OPEC meeting will be an oddity for historians of the oil exporters club - a member with virtually no oil for sale.

As it struggles with its worst crisis since the 2011 war that toppled Muammar Gaddafi, early talk of a swift resumption of output have given way to pessimism, leaving OPEC with a longer lasting hole of over one million barrels per day in its supply.

Production is below 200,000 barrels per day, Oil Minister Omar Shakmak said on arrival in Vienna on Monday for the meeting, a fraction of the 1.6 million bpd Libya pumped before the 2011 conflict.

"Until the government gets control it cannot export on a normal basis... It is unlikely Libyan oil production will increase significantly in the next six months," said Charles Gurdon, managing director of Menas Consulting.

"Most of 2014 will effectively be written off."

The near absence of Libyan oil from international markets has helped anchor prices in a narrow range around $110 a barrel. That is a comfortable level for OPEC and few expect the cartel to change its output target for the rest of the year.

Rebels have blocked Libya's major ports and fields since last summer, slashing output.

With a renegade general launching war on Islamists, successive prime ministers struggling for legitimacy and a lack of oil revenues, the caretaker government could be forced to divert what barrels were destined for export to domestic refineries to supply gasoline to the capital.

Foreign oil companies have pulled out staff and frozen exploration activities, while Libya's hungry European customers have turned elsewhere for more steady supplies.

Monday's court ruling resolving a standoff between rival governments was welcomed by rebels holding some of Libya's largest oil terminals at Es Sider and Ras Lanuf and raises hopes that a deal to restore key export facilities could be reached soon.

But even if a deal to reopen all the ports and fields is made, industry insiders and officials from Libya's National Oil Corp (NOC) say it is hard to tell how much damage the closures have already caused to its precious oil infrastructure or how long it would take to return to prewar capacity.

Libya's western El Sharara oilfield may take months to reach its full output of 340,000 bpd, for instance, because at least 20 damaged well pumps need to be replaced.

Once output can build up, the damage is taking its toll on the country's production capacity. The International Energy Agency, the West's energy watchdog, in May cut its estimate of Libya's sustainable output capacity to 1 million bpd.

Fires on pipelines elsewhere and lack of maintenance could make resumption of exports a long and costly process.

Technically, Libya can still pump upwards of 1 million bpd but the new NOC chairman Mustafa Sanallah said it would only ramp up exports gradually - and in cooperation with OPEC. That would help avert a sudden slide in oil prices.

"From a technical point of view, our facilities are ready ...and our people can resume production very soon," Sanallah told a Libyan oil conference in London last month.

"But in order to resume production, we have to agree with our rivals, partners and with OPEC. We have still high storage of oil... So we have to export our oil gradually and by good cooperation between Libya and OPEC."

At a London conference last month on on Libya's energy sector presentations focused on plans for a new oil law, enhanced oil recovery and even pipeline upgrades, skirting around the fact that the state could not even guarantee the flow of oil.

"It is a very difficult market to predict," said Eric Oudenot, of Boston Consulting Group. "Nobody is really able to craft a strategy for Libya as it is too unstable."

(By Lin Noueihed and Julia Payne; Additional reporting by Ulf Laessing in Tripoli, Alex Lawler in Vienna; Editing by William Hardy and Veronica Brown)

Maritime Reporter November 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Finance

Diana Shipping Announced $53.5m Drawdown

Diana Shipping Inc. announces signing and drawdown of a $53.5 million term loan facility with BNP Paribas; announces time charter contract for m/v Nirefs with Glencore   Diana Shipping Inc.

Maersk to Continue Russian Operations

Denmark's A.P. Moller-Maersk said its four subsidiaries with activities in Russia continue to operate as planned despite the recent sharp drop in oil price and the rouble's collapse.

NSRP Awards $11m for R&D Project Portfolio

The Executive Control Board of the National Shipbuilding Research Program (NSRP) has selected a new round of research and development projects for award, as part

Energy

Liquefaction Terminals to Draw Big Spending

Liquefaction terminals to dominate forecast LNG capital expenditure   Capital expenditure (Capex) on global liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities is expected

Oil is on the Rise

Oil prices rose in early trading on Monday as Asian markets opened strongly into a holiday-shortened week and as consensus spread that Brent crude prices would

Fighting for Ports Escalates in Libya

Military planes loyal to Libya's recognised government attacked on Sunday an opposing force that is seeking to seize the country's two biggest oil ports, officials said.

News

Diana Shipping Announced $53.5m Drawdown

Diana Shipping Inc. announces signing and drawdown of a $53.5 million term loan facility with BNP Paribas; announces time charter contract for m/v Nirefs with Glencore   Diana Shipping Inc.

Maersk to Continue Russian Operations

Denmark's A.P. Moller-Maersk said its four subsidiaries with activities in Russia continue to operate as planned despite the recent sharp drop in oil price and the rouble's collapse.

Teekay Petrojarl Contracts Damen for FPSO Upgrade

Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam (DSR), part of Damen Shiprepair & Conversion (DSC), has been awarded an EPC contract by Petrojarl I LLC for the upgrade of its FPSO Petrojarl I.

Logistics

Marseille Fos Unveils Multimillion Growth Strategy

The Marseille Fos port authority has set out a vision for growth over the four years to 2018 in a strategic plan that puts developments costing $560 million at

Young Endeavour Sets Sail on World Voyage

The Royal Australian Navy operated Sail Training Ship Young Endeavour set sail from Sydney today for a 12-month voyage, circumnavigating the globe. Parliamentary

Port Workers in Argentine Grain Hub End Strike

Port workers in part of the Argentine grains hub of Rosario lifted a work stoppage on Friday, only a day after they went on strike over demands for higher year-end bonuses, a union official said.

Middle East

Libyan State Oil Firm NOC Will Remain Independent

Libya's Tripoli-based state firm National Oil Corp (NOC) will remain independent, it said on Thursday, in an apparent attempt to reassure foreign oil buyers it will stay out of the country's conflict.

Jackup Rig Delivered to Abu Dhabi’s NDC

Lamprell delivers its 11th Super 116E jackup drilling unit Lamprell has completed the construction of jackup drilling rig, the Shuwehat, and has delivered the

Captain, Officer of Containership Detained after Deadly Collision

The captain and first officer of a Kuwaiti container ship have been detained for four days after their ship collided with a fishing vessel in the Red Sea, killing 13 Egyptians,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1949 sec (5 req/sec)