Brega Complex

From Oil4All
Jump to: navigation, search

Brega, located on the Gulf of Sidra about 200 km west of Benghazi,[1] is home to Libya's second-largest hydrocarbon complex.[2] It consists of the oldest oil refinery in Libya (on stream since 1970),[3] a gas plant producing liquefied natural gas (LNG) and a petrochemical complex. Brega provides gasoline to communities in the region reaching as far as Benghazi.[4]

During the 2011 revolution Brega repeatedly changed hands between Gaddafi and rebel forces in the 2011 war,[5] and the complex was badly damaged. Gaddafi forces destroyed at least four oil storage tanks, while NATO bombed the complex clubhouse, a communications tower and other facilities after learning that they were being used to store weapons. Upon fleeing the complex after the fall of Tripoli in late August, Gaddafi loyalists reportedly also left behind 40,000 anti-personnel and anti-tank mines around the town of Brega and 6,000 mines on a nearby beach.[6]


The oil refinery is a topping and reforming facility with a nominal capacity of 8,400 barrels per day (bpd).[7]

Natural gas plant

The LNG plant at Brega, built in 1970, is the world's second ever to come on stream. No substantial upgrades have been made to the plant since it came on stream and, according to market analyst IHS Global Insight, it was as of October 2010 in need of modernisation and repair. With its use of outdated facilities, Brega's gas is incompatible with global standards and can be exported to only one regasification train in Spain.[8] Brega once produced up to 3.6 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year, but as of October 2008 had not been capable of producing more than 800 million cubic metres per year for decades.[9] In 2005, Shell signed a deal with Sirte Oil Company, a subsidiary of National Oil Corporation (NOC), to rejuvenate and expand the LNG plant to restore it to its original nameplate production for a total of $643 million, but the project has experienced numerous delays as a result of organisational problems within NOC and its subsidiaries.[10]


Brega is also the starting point of the 670-kilometre Marsa Al Brega-Khoms Intisar gas pipeline, which provides gas for two electricity generating plants situated in Az Zuwaytina and Ajdabya.[11]


The complex is owned and operated by Sirte Oil Company (SOC). It was built in the 1960s and was run in partnership with Esso Oil in the 1960s and 70s, but Sirte Oil Company has had control of the Brega facilities since the early 1980s.[12]


  1. "NATO says hit military targets in Libya's Brega" Reuters, 25 June 2011.
  2. "Libyan rebels: Eastern oil terminal Brega taken" Guardian, 20 August 2011.
  3. "LIBYA - The Local Refineries" APS Review Downstream Trends, 9 July 2001.
  4. "Oil workers saved key parts of Libya's lifeblood" The Seattle Times, 24 September 2011.
  5. "Libyan rebels: Eastern oil terminal Brega seized" Yahoo! News 19 August 2011.
  6. "Oil workers saved key parts of Libya's lifeblood" The Seattle Times 24 September 2011.
  7. "Sirte Oil Co - Simple Oil Refinery in Brega, Libya" MBendi Information Services, retrieved January 2011.
  8. "Shell Hopes for Near-Term Progress at Libya's Marsa el-Brega LNG" IHS, 14 October 2010.
  9. "Gas - and Gazprom" Petroleum Economist 01 October 2008.
  10. "Shell Hopes for Near-Term Progress at Libya's Marsa el-Brega LNG" IHS, 14 October 2010.
  11. "Site Visit to Ajdabiya, Libya" Inter-Agency Mission Report, 7 June 2011.
  12. "Port Marsa El Brega: Port Detail" World Port Source, retrieved January 2011.