Middle East / Africa

Libya flag
Summary | Profile

Country profile: Libya

Location: Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and Tunisia
Climate: Mediterranean along coast; dry, extreme desert interior
Terrain: mostly barren, flat to undulating plains, plateaus, depressions
Size: 1759540 sq. km total (Land area: 1759540 sq. km )
Population: 6,173,579
Languages: Arabic, Italian, English, all are widely understood in the major cities
Government: Jamahiriya (a state of the masses) in theory, governed by the populace through local councils; in practice, an authoritarian state
Capital city: Tripoli
Legal system: based on Italian and French civil law systems and Islamic law; separate religious courts; no constitutional provision for judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Currency: Libyan dinar (LYD)
Licensing:

Country profile

Libya relies on oil and natural gas to satisfy energy consumption demand. Economic growth in Libya is dependent on the hydrocarbon industry. According to the World Bank, the country’s hydrocarbon exports account for over 95 percent of total merchandize exports and revenues from the oil and natural gas sectors amount to over half of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Since the United Nations and the United States lifted sanctions over Libya in 2003 and 2004, respectively, oil majors have stepped up exploration efforts for oil and natural gas in the country. Likewise, companies have tried using enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques to increase production at maturing fields. Over the next six years, Libya would like to see oil production capacity increase by 40 percent from 1.8 million barrels per day (bbl/d) to 3 million bbl/d by 2013.

The Italians supplanted the Ottoman Turks in the area around Tripoli in 1911 and did not relinquish their hold until 1943 when defeated in World War II. Libya then passed to UN administration and achieved independence in 1951. Following a 1969 military coup, Col. Muammar Abu Minyar al-QADHAFI began to espouse his own political system, the Third Universal Theory. The system is a combination of socialism and Islam derived in part from tribal practices and is supposed to be implemented by the Libyan people themselves in a unique form of "direct democracy."

QADHAFI has always seen himself as a revolutionary and visionary leader. He used oil funds during the 1970s and 1980s to promote his ideology outside Libya, supporting subversives and terrorists abroad to hasten the end of Marxism and capitalism. In addition, beginning in 1973, he engaged in military operations in northern Chad's Aozou Strip - to gain access to minerals and to use as a base of influence in Chadian politics - but was forced to retreat in 1987.

UN sanctions in 1992 isolated QADHAFI politically following the downing of Pan AM Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. During the 1990s, QADHAFI began to rebuild his relationships with Europe. UN sanctions were suspended in April 1999 and finally lifted in September 2003 after Libya accepted responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing. In December 2003, Libya announced that it had agreed to reveal and end its programs to develop weapons of mass destruction and to renounce terrorism. QADHAFI has made significant strides in normalizing relations with Western nations since then. He has received various Western European leaders as well as many working-level and commercial delegations, and made his first trip to Western Europe in 15 years when he travelled to Brussels in April 2004. Libya has responded in good faith to legal cases brought against it in US courts for terrorist acts that predate its renunciation of violence. Claims for compensation in the Lockerbie bombing, LaBelle disco bombing, and UTA 772 bombing cases are ongoing. The US rescinded Libya's designation as a state sponsor of terrorism in June 2006. In late 2007, Libya was elected by the General Assembly to a nonpermanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the 2008-09 term..

Energy production and consumption


Oil Gas
Production: 1 million bbl/day (2006 est.) 10 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Consumption: 266,000  bbl/day (2006 est.) 5 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Exports: 1 million bbl/day (2006 est.) 5 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Imports: 1,233 million bbl/day (2006 est.)  
Reserves: 45 billion bbl (2007 est.) 1 trillion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Major fields:



Libya - recent news

22 Jan 24
Libya's National Oil Corporation lifts force majeure and resumes full production from Al Sharara field
Libya's National Oil Corporation has lifted force majeure and resumed full production from the Al Sharara field. Libya's NOC had declared force majeure on the Sharara oil field effective January 7th, 2024, due to it's closure by protesters.
08 Jan 24
Libya's National Oil Corporation declares force majeure at the Sharara oil field
Libya's National Oil Corporation has declared a force majeure on the Sharara oil field effective Sunday, January 7th, 2024, due to it's closure by protesters. The closure has resulted in the suspension of crude oil supplies from the field to Zawiya terminal.
19 Oct 23
Libya: NOC and Equinor sign MOU to study and evaluate the oil and gas potential offshore Libya
Libya's National Oil Corporation has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Equinor to study and evaluate the oil and gas potential offshore Libya.
09 Aug 23
Libya: Saipem awarded offshore contract for BGUP project in Libya
Saipem has been awarded a new contract by Mellitah Oil & Gas Libyan Branch, a consortium formed by National Oil Corporation of Libya and Eni North Africa, for the development of the Bouri Gas Utilisation Project (BGUP), worth approx. 1 billion USD.
03 Aug 23
Libya: Eni revokes force majeure status on three exploration assets in Libya
Eni formalised with its Libyan counterpart NOC the revocation of force majeure status on exploration areas A and B (onshore), and C (offshore), where Eni is the operator with a 42.5% stake, along with BP, 42.5%, and the Libyan Investment Authority with 15%.

Libya - more news

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