Friday, March 11, 2011

libyan oil mostly underexplored...,

useia.gov | Libya, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), holds the largest proven oil reserves in Africa, followed by Nigeria and Algeria (see below). According to Oil and Gas Journal (OGJ), Libya had total proven oil reserves of 46.4 billion barrels as of January 2011, the largest reserves in Africa. Close to 80 percent of Libya's proven oil reserves are located in the Sirte basin, which accounts for most of the country's oil output.

Libya hopes to increase oil reserve estimates with incentives for additional exploration both in established oil producing areas as well as more remote parts of the country. Recent increases in foreign investment have begun to slow as a result of uncertainties stemming from OPEC quotas, infrastructure constraints, and contract renegotiations.

Libyan oil is generally light (high API gravity) and sweet (low sulfur content). The country's nine export grades have API gravities that range from 26.0o – 43.3o. While the lighter, sweeter grades are generally sold to Europe, the heavier crude oils are often exported to Asian markets.

Refining
According to OGJ, Libya has five domestic refineries, with a combined capacity of 378,000 bbl/d. Libya's refineries include:

1) the Ras Lanuf export refinery, completed in 1984 and located on the Gulf of Sirte, with a crude oil refining capacity of 220,000 bbl/d;

2) the Az Zawiya refinery, completed in 1974 and located in northwestern Libya, with crude processing capacity of 120,000 bbl/d;

3) the Tobruk refinery, with crude capacity of 20,000 bbl/d;

4) Sarir, a topping facility with 10,000 bbl/d of capacity; and

5) Brega, the oldest refinery in Libya, located near Tobruk with crude capacity of 8,000 bbl/d.

Libya's refining sector was impacted by UN sanctions, specifically UN Resolution 883 of November 11, 1993, which banned Libya from importing refinery equipment. Libya is seeking a comprehensive upgrade to its entire refining system, with a particular aim of increasing output of gasoline and other light products.

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