Libya readies first post-Gaddafi era fuel export

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An oil refinery in Libya guarded by former rebels. Photo – Goran Tomasevic/Reuters

Libya is ready to export the first post-Gaddafi era shipment of fuel oil from Ras Lanuf, the country’s largest refinery, this week, a local shipping agent said on Monday.

According to Al Omran Shipping Agencies and Maritime Services, the 45,000 tonne cargo is due to load on 5 September.

Ras Lanuf, which can process 220,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd), restarted last week after being shut down during the war that ousted Libya’s former leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Libyan traders said the plant accounts for well over half of the country’s refining capacity and exported around five cargoes of low-sulphur fuel oil a month before the war.

The restart of the refinery has pressured fuel oil prices as it is a significant exporter of the refined product in the region.

“There has been a lot of action on the hilos (spread between low and high-sulphur fuel oil)” said one fuel oil trader, attributing the activity to the increased availability of low-sulphur fuel oil in the Mediterranean.

“It’s pretty chunky for the low-sulphur market,” he added.

Ras Lanuf is also a key exporter of jet fuel and naphtha in the region. The vessel due to pick up the shipment, the Minerva Grace, had been chartered by Vitol, the agent said.

Meanwhile, Libya’s National Oil Corporation said it expects to generate $54.9 billion in revenue from oil and natural gas this year, according to a release posted on its website.

The revenue would come from exports and taxes on oil companies operating in the North African country, the NOC said.

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