Exports Settle on a New Normal
Libyan seaborne crude exports seem to have settled into relative stability over the past several months. Between October and December alone, export levels averaged 1,007 kbd up more than 80% from the same period a year earlier. A “soft production cap” of 1 million barrels-per-day is currently in place following negotiations with OPEC, of which Libya is a member-nation.
Much of 2017 realized month-over-month increases in crude leaving Libyan shores, with a short respite early in the year. March and April realized sharp drops in production due to outages at the Sharara Oil Field and armed clashes at the Es Sider and Ras Lanuf ports. In late-April, El Feel, a production field near Sharara, restarted production for the first time since 2014 helping fuel exports in the latter-half of 2017.
Libya’s Most Important Export Market
Europe has remained Libya’s most important export destination, even as total exports have rapidly risen. December alone realized 730 kbd leave Libyan shores for European ports. Italy, Spain, France and the United Kingdom remain the main beneficiaries accounting for 87% of all European export volumes in 2017.
Libya’s Es Sider and Zawia Ports Grow in Importance
The Es Sider Port, located on Libya’s central Mediterranean coast has grown to become one of the nation’s most important points of oil export alongside that of the Zawia Terminal, which receives crude oil by pipeline from the Sharara and El Feel oil fields. Cumulatively, both ports realized an increase of 339 kbd through the course of 2017.