Libyan Gas Sector

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Production

Libya had natural gas reserves of an estimated 1.55 trillion cubic meters (tcm) as of January 2011, at which point recent new discoveries and investments in natural gas exploration were expected to raise estimates of these reserves. Libya produced about 29.3 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gross natural gas in 2009, of which 15.9 bcm was marketed dry natural gas, while the remainder was vented, flared or re-injected to enhance oil recovery.

Libya saw a significant boost to its natural gas production in 2003, the same year United Nations sanctions were lifted. As of February 2011, the government planned a major expansion in natural gas production to increase its use in the power sector, and to free up more oil for export. These objectives were expected to be met both by expanding development and reducing the volume of natural gas flares, estimated at 3.54 bcm in 2009.[1] In a September 2010 forecast, risk analysis agency Business Monitor International predicted that Libyan gas production would reach 21 bcm in 2014 and 27 bcm by 2019.[2]

Libya's natural gas industry is mostly state-run by the NOC, but several international companies are involved in the exploration, production, and transportation of natural gas, such as Eni, BP, Shell and ExxonMobil, among others.[3] Major producing gas fields in Libya include Attahadi, Defa-Waha, Hatiba, Zelten, Sahl, Assumud,[4] Wafa and Bahr Essalam[5]

Exports

Libya exported 9.97 bcm of natural gas in 2010.[6], and the majority of Libya's exported natural gas flows through pipelines, rather than being exported as liquefied natural gas (LNG).[7] The Greenstream pipeline, a main feature of the Western Libya Gas Project with a capacity of 11 bcm,[8] significantly added to Libya's natural gas export capabilities when it came on stream in 2004.[9] Previously, Spain was the only purchaser of Libyan natural gas,[10] while in 2010 the Greenstream pipeline delivered approximately 8.75 bcm to Italy,[11] where it was then sent to the rest of Europe.[12]

Libya became the second country in the world to export LNG in 1971,[13], but its LNG exports have remained low since then, mainly due to technical limitations. In 2009, Libya exported nearly 691 million cubic meters of LNG, all to Spain.[14]

Supplies through the Greenstream pipeline were suspended in February 2011 as a result of civil unrest,[15] and resumed preliminary flows of 3 million cubic meters through the pipeline in mid-October, with official amounts to be determined between the end of November and mid-December 2011.[16]

Domestic Consumption

Libya consumed just over 6 bcm of natural gas in 2009, meeting approximately 28% of its total energy demand. Despite plans to increase natural gas use for electricity generation, natural gas consumption has remained relatively stable over the past decade, despite substantial increases in production, due to project delays and infrastructure limitations.

About 40% of Libya's generated electricity was produced using natural gas as of February 2011, and with electricity demand on the rise, the government planned to expand natural gas use to meet domestic electricity generation needs.[17]

References

  1. "Libya - Country Analysis Brief" Energy Information Administration Retrieved 21 October 2011.
  2. "Libya Oil and Gas Report Q4 2010" Business Monitor International 30 September 2010.
  3. "Libya - Country Analysis Brief" Energy Information Administration Retrieved 21 October 2011.
  4. "Energy: Oil - Gas - Electrical" Libyan Consulting Retrieved 21 October 2011.
  5. "UPDATE 3-Eni starts tests on Libya Greenstream pipeline" Reuters 13 October 2011.
  6. "Annual Statistical Bulletin 2010/2011 Edition" Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries Retrieved 21 October 2011.
  7. "Libya - Country Analysis Brief" Energy Information Administration Retrieved 21 October 2011.
  8. "Interim Consolidated Report" Eni 30 June 2010.
  9. "Libya - Country Analysis Brief" Energy Information Administration Retrieved 21 October 2011.
  10. "Energy Profile of Libya" The Encyclopedia of Earth Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  11. "Annual Report 2010" Eni Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  12. "Energy Profile of Libya" The Encyclopedia of Earth Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  13. "Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development Handbook" International Business Publications, USA 2007.
  14. "Libya - Country Analysis Brief" Energy Information Administration Retrieved 21 October 2011.
  15. "Libyan gas cut tests Italian LNG nerves" Petroleum Economist 23 February 2011.
  16. "Libya, Eni resume Greenstream gas pipeline throughput" Oil and Gas Journal 13 October 2011.
  17. "Libya - Country Analysis Brief" Energy Information Administration Retrieved 21 October 2011.