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

07 Jun 20
Libya: NOC confirms restart of production at Sharara oil field
Libya's National Oil Corporation has confirmed the return of production at the Sharara oil field south of the country, after lengthy negotiations by the NOC to reopen the Hamada valve, which had been illegally closed last January, resulting in the shutdown of production.
17 Dec 19
Libya: Wintershall Dea signs EPSA agreements with Libya’s NOC
Wintershall Aktiengesellschaft (WIAG) and Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) have signed two Exploration and Production Sharing Agreements (EPSAs) for Areas 91 (former Concession 96) and 107 (former Concession 97) in the onshore Sirte Basin.
11 Dec 19
Libya: Total to participate in the Waha concessions in Libya's Sirte Basin
Total and National Oil Corporation (NOC), with the agreement of the Government of Libya, have signed an agreement to implement Total’s participation in the Waha concessions, located in the Sirte Basin in Libya.
05 Nov 18
Libya's Bahr Essalam Phase 2 project to complete by end of 2018
Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) and Eni have met to discuss ongoing in-country operations, including plans for the seven remaining wells at the offshore Bahr Essalam Phase 2 project - expected to complete by the end of 2018.
08 Oct 18
Libya: BP and Eni agree to work to resume exploration in Libya
Libya’s National Oil Corporation, BP and Eni have signed an agreement expected to lead to Eni and BP working together to resume exploration activities on a major exploration and production contract in Libya. The parties agreed to work towards Eni acquiring a 42.5% interest in the BP-operated exploration and production sharing agreement (EPSA) in Libya.

Libya - more news

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