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Libya has scaled back its downstream ambitions in the face of continued political instability, which has brought crude oil exports to their knees and deterred investment. Despite this, a tender is imminent, and work on a modest increase in capacity could begin this year.
Plans to build up to three greenfield refineries have been shelved by state-owned National Oil Corporation (NOC). Instead, the creaking downstream sector is to be augmented only by one major upgrade to an existing refinery, and two small new facilities.
The lack of sizeable new additions to Libya’s refinery fleet spells the end to ambitious $60bn plans to boost the country’s refinery capacity from the current 380,000 b/d to 1.2mn b/d by 2019 and develop a domestic petrochemicals industry (MEES, 20 September 2013). Under the new plan, Libyan refining capacity could increase by as little as 130,000 b/d.
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