Arabian Gulf Oil Company (Agoco)

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The Arabian Gulf Oil Company (Agoco) is a fully owned subsidiary of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) and is Libya's second-largest state-owned oil company.[1] As of January 201 Agoco had around 6,000 employees, of which around a third were based at the headquarters in Benghazi.[2]


Agoco was formed following the nationalisation of assets belonging to BP, Chevron and Texaco.[3]

In 1980, the Arabian Gulf Exploration Company and the Umm-al-Jawabi Oil Company were amalgamated, creating the Libyan Arabian Gulf Oil Company. By 1989, Agoco's production was 400,000 barrels per day (bpd), making it the largest individual oil producer in the country. Agoco was implicated in the broader oil policy of the government, which was to initiate and invest in new projects while maintaining control.[4]

During the 2011 conflict, Agoco broke from the Gaddhafi-controlled NOC and announced plans to use oil sales to fund the opposition rebel forces.[5]


Agoco operates five major oil fields: Sarir, Messla, Naffora, Beda and Hammada. The company also operates refineries in Tobruk and Sarir. Agoco's main business is the production of oil from its fields in the desert and pumping the crude oil through hundreds of kilometres of pipelines to the coast.[6] Before the popular protests began in the spring of 2011, Agoco was a key part of the industry driving Gaddafi's regime and was producing 440,000 bpd out of its fields fields in the south-west of the country, perhaps one barrel in every 100 traded on markets around the world every day.[7] This production represented roughly 40 percent of total Libyan crude oil production.[8]


  1. Libya crisis: no 'happy ending' for Colonel Gaddafi”. BBC News, 13 March 2011.
  2. Libya's east heightens calls for control of oil”. Reuters, 18 January 2013.
  3. Agoco Joins Rebels As Oil Industry Splits Down The Middle”. Penn Energy, 1 April 2011.
  4. National Oil Corporation”. Funding Universe,retrieved 18 October 2011.
  5. Libya crisis: no 'happy ending' for Colonel Gaddafi”. BBC News,13 March 2011.
  6. Connecting Green Ideas”. SAF Tehnika, retrieved 18 October 2011.
  7. West, Johnny “Karama! Chapter 17: Of Oil, Revolution and Complicity”, retrieved 18 October 2011.
  8. Connecting Green Ideas”. SAF Tehnika, retrieved 18 October 2011.