Marathon Operations in Libya

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US oil firms had their contracts suspended in the 1980s after the US imposed sanctions on Libya. However in 2005 Marathon, along with other firms such as ExxonMobil, resumed their operations in the country after a 19 year absence.[1] Analysts estimated that in 2011, Libya contributed approximately 2 percent of Marathon's cash flow.[2]

A leaked US diplomatic cable dating from 2009 suggested that Marathon may have benefited had a diplomatic row between Canada and Muammar Gaddafi escalated, following the Libyan leaders aborted trip to Canada. As a result Marathon had been instructed to increase its own production to make up for the shortfall when Petro-Canada was asked to slash their production activities.[3]

In February 2011 Marathon successfully evacuated its expatriate employees from Libya following the political unrest and complied with all US sanctions related to Libya.[4]

In December 2011 Marathon official confirmed that some output had restarted at Waha Oil Company[5] but as of January 2013 the company's official website stated that the return of operations in Libya to pre-conflict levels remained unknown and that the consortium partners were assessing the conditions their assets.[6]

Activities and Contracts

Marathon is a member of the Oasis Group, which acquired exploration and production rights in Libya in the mid-1950s, holding a 16.33 percent working interest in the concession.[7]

As of October 2011, no reports had been encountered of a resumption of production by the consortium in which Marathon participates in Libya. Damage assessment was said to be 'in progress', but there was extensive damage reported to the Sidra terminal as well as protests stemming from demand for a change of management. The Waha Group fields had a pre-war capacity of 400,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd).[8]


  1. More US oil firms return to Libya”. BBC, 30 December 2005.
  2. Oil Stocks Most Exposed to Libya”. Barron's, 24 February 2011.
  3. Petrocanada Caught In Qadhafi's Cross-hairs”. WikiLeaks, 27 October 2009.
  4. Libya”. Marathon Oil Corporation, retrieved 11 October 2011.
  5. Libya's Largest Oil Port to Resume Exports”, Wall Street Journal, 30 December 2011.
  6. Libya”. Marathon Oil Corporation, retrieved 23 January 2013.
  7. Our Business”. Waha Oil Company, retrieved 11 October 2011.
  8. Libya Oil Output to Double by November”. Petroleum Economist, 10 October 2011.