Libya’s oil and gas sector is witnessing a revival as the socio-political environment stabilizes and the country pursues a large-scale expansion of its energy sector.
Foreign players are being invited to seize the opportunities the largely untapped market presents while production at existing fields ramp up.
In 2023 thus far, the country has seen several industry milestones that are poised to transform the country’s economy on the back of oil and gas progress.
2024 Licensing Round Announced
Under efforts to accelerate oil and gas exploration, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) of Libya announced that it plans on launching an oil and gas licensing round in 2024.
The licensing round will represent the first in nearly two decades and falls in line with national targets to produce upwards of two million barrels per day (bpd) over the next three years.
Honeywell UOP Secures Refinery Contract
In March 2023, oil and gas exploration company Zallaf Libya Oil and Gas – a subsidiary of the NOC – awarded a contract to multinational refinery manufacturing company Honeywell Universal Oil Products for the construction of the South Refinery in the town of Ubari. The refinery will cost between $500 million and $600 million and will be developed in two phases.
NOC, Tatneft Discover Oil at Ghadames Basin
The NOC, alongside Russian vertically integrated oil and gas company Tatneft made an oil discovery in Area 82 of Block 4 – located in the Ghadames Basin onshore Libya. Representing the third discovery made in the area, the discovery flow rate is estimated at 1,870 bpd from Devonian and Ordovician sandstone.
NOC Establishes Strategic Programs Office
In February this year, the NOC launched its strategic plan to revitalize the country’s oil and gas sector, establishing a Strategic Programs Office in collaboration with U.S.-based engineering firm Kellogg Brown & Root. The Strategic Programs Office will spearhead the implementation of the plan, which aims to improve transparency and coordination across the sector under efforts of increasing investment, exploration and production.
Production Resumes at El Sharara Oilfield
Libya’s El Sharara oilfield resumed production in July 2023 following shutdowns due to political disruptions. Representing one of the country’s biggest deposits, the oilfield is gradually increasing production back to pre-shutdown levels of between 250,000 and 260,000 bpd. Output resumption is expected to bring some relief to global markets.
Libya, Eni Ink MoU
The government of Libya inked a memorandum of understanding with Italian energy major Eni to advance the decarbonization of the energy sector. Under the terms of the agreement, the parties will collaborate on research, technological development and the establishment of business cases, all with the aim of reducing emissions in the sector. The deal is expected to improve oil and gas efficiency while reducing the sector’s environmental footprint.
Turkish Companies Invited to Explore
In August this year, Libya’s Minister of Oil and Gas Mohamed Aoun invited Turkish companies to partner with Libya and help develop the country’s unexplored offshore acreage. Citing Turkey’s expertise and geographical proximity as reasons, the Minister stated that such partnerships would be key in advancing exploration and seismic research.
ECP Launches Libya Energy & Economic Summit 2023
African investment platform Energy Capital & Power officially launched the second edition of the Libya Energy & Economic Summit. Taking place from November 8-9 in Tripoli and with the endorsement and support of the Office of the Prime Minister of Libya, the Ministry of Oil and Gas and the NOC, the summit unites the entire energy sector together with other critical areas of the economy with the goal of creating and sustaining partnerships for energy and economic opportunity.