Refineries in Libya by Capacity

As Libya’s oil sector sees a new revival, the Ministry of Oil and Gas, in conjunction with the Ministry of Economy and Trade, are considering construction of refineries in strategic locations across the country – namely, Tobruk and Ubari – to be financed by local and international investments in the form of Public Private Partnerships. The country is currently home to five major refineries with a combined nameplate capacity of 380,000 barrels per day (bpd), the majority of which were offline in 2020 due to the blockade against oil exports. Increasing domestic production of fuel and conversion of natural gas into high quality diesel is aimed at meeting local demand and reducing refined petroleum product imports, as well as generating diversified income for the crude oil-dependent country. Pre-COVID-19, Libya produced 59,400 bpd of petroleum by-products, of which 21,000 bpd were exported.

Ras Lanuf – 220,000 bpd

Operated by the Libyan Emirates Oil Refining Company (LERCO), the Ras Lanuf Refinery is a topping and reforming oil refinery part of a larger petrochemical complex, comprising an ethylene plant, polyethylene plant, plant utilities and Ras Lanuf Harbor. The refinery produces fuel oil, gas oil, naphtha and kerosene, while the larger complex also produces petrochemicals using naphtha as feedstock. Despite holding the largest installed capacity, the refinery has been closed since 2013 due to ongoing arbitration between Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) and LERCO, although steps toward a resolution were made as recently as March.

Zawiyah – 120,000 bpd

Located approximately 40-km west of Tripoli, the Zawiya refinery is a topping and reforming refinery with a distillation capacity of 6,000 tons per year and production of 120,000 barrels of oil products per day. The refinery is operated by the Zawia Oil Refining Company – a subsidiary of the NOC – and is expected to undergo rehabilitation following the re-tendering of an engineering, procurement and construction contract for upgrade. The Zawiyah refinery resumed operations at the end of October 2020 and is now fully operational.

Tobruk – 20,000 bpd

The small-scale Tobruk refinery resumed operations by the end of 2020 and is operated by the Arabian Gulf Oil Company (AGOCO), a subsidiary of the NOC. Last October, the company announced that the refinery had returned to work at full capacity, with the reception of a 25,000-metric ton shipment of heavy oil from Brega Company. According to AGOCO, the refinery serves to contribute to resolving shortages of diesel fuel and other petroleum products in the domestic market. An additional, 300,000-bpd refinery is being proposed for construction in Tobruk, according to the Benghazi Chamber of Commerce, in which partnership agreements with international companies to implement the refinery on a Build-Operate-Transfer basis have already been signed.

Brega 10,000 bpd

Brega is home to the Brega refinery and Marsa El Brega terminal – one of five main oil terminals in the eastern half of Libya – and thereby represents a critical site for Libya’s oil economy. The refinery is operated by the Sirte Oil Company, a subsidiary of the NOC, and was formerly run in partnership with ExxonMobil. Brega is also the site of the start of the Brega-Khoms Intisar gas pipeline.

Sarir – 10,000 bpd

The Sarir refinery is another small-scale refinery that came back online and reached full production capacity toward the end of last year, following the lifting of the NOC’s force majeure on oil fields and export terminals. The refinery is operated by AGOCO and located in the country’s eastern region. The refinery is a small topping plant fed in part by the nearby Sarir Field, which is considered to be one of the largest oil fields in Libya and holds 4.8 billion barrels of proven recoverable oil reserves.

Organized by Energy Capital & Power with the endorsement of the Office of Prime Minister H.E. Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, the Libya Energy & Economic Summit 2021 (November 22-23, Tripoli) will unite local and foreign investors, policymakers and financiers for two days of discussions and deal-making. To learn more about Libya’s sectoral revival and find out more information regarding speaker or sponsorship opportunities at the Libya Energy & Economic Summit 2021, please visit www.energycapitalpower.com or contact James Chester at james@energycapitalpower.com.

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Grace Goodrich

Grace Goodrich

Grace Goodrich is a Field Editor at ECP, where she writes about the intersection of energy, policy and global finance in sub-Saharan Africa's fastest-growing economies. Grace produces our Africa Energy Series investment reports in Angola and Equatorial Guinea (2019), as well as co-authored African Energy Chamber: Road to Recovery (2021).

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