Cablegate: Libya Commercial Round-Up for October 2008 Oil and Gas

Published: Tue 25 Nov 2008 11:11 AM
R 251104Z NOV 08
E.O. 12958: N/A
1. (U) A New Oil Discovery by Sirte Oil Company: On October 7, Sirte Oil, a state-owned company, announced a new oil discovery in the well A1-NC216A in the Ghadames Basin. The well is located approximately 310 km southwest of Tripoli. The initial production testing established an oil rate of 1,725 barrels per day, and a gas rate of 0.25 million standard cubic feet per day. This well represents the company's first discovery in the block. [, 10/7/2008]
2. (U) Russian-British Firm TNK-BP Seeks to Develop Major Libyan Oil Field: After a conflict between the oil company's Russian and British shareholders was settled, TNK-BP received the right to compete with BP in international projects. TNK-BP is negotiating to develop Libya's Sarir field, one of the largest oilfields in Libya located about 500 kilometers east of Tripoli in the Sirte Basin. TNK-BP is ready to sell $1bn-$2bn to obtain the status of operator of Libya's Sarir project. The Russian-British oil producer is now in talks with Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) regarding the development of the Sarir field. In September, a delegation of TNK-BP top executives visited the country to hold cooperation talks. However, investment in the Libyan oil project, which may total between $1bn and $7bn, has yet to be approved by TNK-BP's new CEO. [, 10/21/2008]
3. (U) WesternGeco Wins Libyan Seismic Deal: WesternGeco, part of oil field services giant Schlumberger, has won a contract from Russia's Gazprom to gather 3D seismic data on its Ghadames Basin acreage in Libya. WesternGeco says the survey will start in November, with data to be processed in its new processing center in Tripoli. Gazprom was awarded offshore Area 19 in the Libyan third oil and gas exploration licensing round last year. [MEED, 10/22/2008]
4. (U) Fourth Forum and Exhibition of Oil and Gas Technologies: The forum and exhibition took place in Tripoli from October 20 to 23. The event was sponsored by the NOC and organized by the Libyan Oil Institute. 120 international companies operating in the oil and gas industry from 20 countries as well as Libyan oil companies participated in the event. The exhibition aims to contribute to the communication between the parties of the oil and gas industry, and their counterparts in the international oil and gas industry, and to get an access to the latest techniques and methods in exploration, production, maintenance, marketing, and consuming. [, 10/22/2008]
5. (U) Foster Wheeler confirms Libyan Refinery Deal: The U.S. company Foster Wheeler has been awarded a project management and consultancy contract for the development of a $4 billion, 200,000 barrel a day refinery in Zwara, western Libya. Foster Wheeler says the Zwara refinery is expected to be completed by 2014; producing gasoline, jet fuel and diesel. The client is Zwara Oil Refining Company (Zorco), a project company in which Libya's state-run Tamoil Africa Holdings has the equity. Foster Wheeler says its contract includes the refinery configuration, the selection of the licensors and the front-end engineering and design (FEED) phase, including preparation of a cost estimate. The firm will also prepare the tender documents for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) phase, assist Zorco in selecting the EPC contractor and act as project management consultant during construction. The refinery, located near the Tunisian border, will boost the country's refinery capacity to nearly 600,000 barrels a day. [MEED, 10/30/2008]
6. (U) Al Maabar Plans $11.5 billion Investments: Abu Dhabi-based Al Maabar International Investments has lined up overseas investments worth $11.5 billion over 10 years. The investments will be in real estate projects in Morocco, Libya, Tunisia, Qatar, Belarus and Jordan. The projects in Libya and Morocco are to be immediately funded. The rest of the projects are long-term; they are now either under initial master plan or are going into detail design. [, 10/5/2008]
7. (U) Hill Signs $42 million Libya University Project: U.S. company Hill International has signed a $42 million contract to provide construction supervision services at a university expansion project in Tripoli. The 21-month contract from the Libyan Organization for the Development of Administrative Centers is part of a $2 billion expansion of Al Fateh University, Libya's largest institute of higher education. Under a 2007 agreement, Hill already provides project management services for the expansion, which will add 17.9 million square feet of space to 39 buildings. [, 10/12/2008]
8. (U) Libyan Iron Steel Company Signed a Contract to Establish a New Factory for Iron Bars Industry: Libyan Iron Steel Company (LISCO) signed a contract to establish a new factory for iron bars with a production capacity of 800,000 tons a year and at a cost of $240 million. After completion of the project, the total production will reach 1.8 million tons against 500 tons a year in 2007. LISCO has signed contracts with specialized Italian companies to get this project executed. The project is expected to be finished in about 30 months. [, 10/19/2008]
9. (U) ESDF, Asamer Launch First Concrete Plant: Libyan Cement Manufacturing Joint Venture Company (JLCC), a joint venture between the Economic Social Development Fund (ESDF) and the Austrian Asamer Group Company, launched the first concrete plant in Tajura. The Tajura concrete plant is the company's second big project launched in Libya. The first one was the cement plant in Benghazi with a minimal capacity of three million tones of cement. [Tripoli Post, 10/19/2008]
10. (U) Turkey's Floating Fair Carries Machinery and Construction Industry to North Africa: Floating Fair Bluexpo's journey included four important trade centers of North Africa; Alexandria in Egypt, Tripoli in Libya, Tunis in Tunisia, and Algiers in Algeria. About 3,500 sector professionals visited the fair located in two ferries; the exhibition involved 150 businesspeople from Turkey who came to Libya under the umbrella of the Turkish Contractors Association. Bluexpo North Africa Construction project aims to provide business opportunities to Turkish companies supplying service and materials in infrastructure and building industries, which have an investment priority in the North African countries. [, 10/20/2008]
11. (U) More Cooperation in Electricity: Egypt and Libya agreed on boosting joint cooperation in electricity production. The agreement was reached at a meeting between Egypt's Holding Company for Electrifying Egypt and a visiting delegation of the Libyan electricity authority. The two sides reached an agreement on Libya's contribution in implementing a power generation plant in southern Giza area at a total capacity expected to reach 1,300 megawatts. The plant will start operation in 2012. It was also agreed that Libya will contribute to other electricity projects in Egypt. [ANSAmed, 10/1/2008]
12. (U) U.S. Opens Trade Office in Libya: on October 5, the American Commercial Service Office was opened in Tripoli to take part in promotion of the economic cooperation among the different Libyan and American institutions. Libyan officials and businessmen from both countries attended the office's opening. The American Assistant Secretary of Commerce underlined the importance of this office to strengthen economic and commercial ties between both countries, clarifying that the office is a good move to boost cooperation and bilateral commercial exchange. The Under Secretary of the General People's Committee for Economy, Trade and Investment said that this office will be a means to provide the institutions and companies with sufficient information about commercial and economic laws and legislations applied in both countries; provide the commercial information required by the American companies that have the desire to execute projects in Great Jamahiriya; and to provide the American investors with information about the Libyan markets and their needs. [, 10/7/2008]
13. (U) Libya Maritime Exhibition and Conference: The Libya Maritime Exhibition and Conference (LIMEX 2008) was held at the naval base in Tripoli from October 13 to 15. It showcased the latest maritime technology by bringing together key industry, government and defense personnel from Libya and Overseas. [ljbc, 10/16/2008]
14. (U) Finance Ministers and Central Banks Governors to Discuss Global Financial Crisis on African Economy: The African Development Bank called on African Union finance ministers and governors of Central Banks to meet November 12, to discuss repercussions of the global financial crisis on African economy. The conference aims at taking a unified stance amongst African Union member states in confronting the global financial crisis, the bank said in a statement issued in Tunis. The statement also said the African Development Bank and the African Union Commission affirm that Africa's voice would be heard during discussions on the reform of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund following the financial collapse of the capitalist system. [ljbc, 10/26/2008]
15. (U) Libyans Take to the Mobile Web: BuzzCity, which provides global wireless communities and consumer services, has published the Global Mobile Advertising Index, which shows the growing use of the mobile Internet and the ensuing advertiser interest. BuzzCity reports continued growth in Indonesia, which remains in top position despite network irregularities, as well as significant growth in Kenya, USA and Bangladesh. BuzzCity also reports record growth for demand of its service in Libya, which it says will surprise both the global mobile community and digital advertising industries. Only six months ago Libya was in 93rd position. BuzzCity says the growth is likely to be directly linked with changes in mobile operator business models, offering affordable and understandable mobile data packages. [, 10/14/2008]
16. (U) Libyan Investment Projects Increase: Resources in the Board of Encouraging Investment mentioned that the size of investment increased from $200 million in 2003 to $2.157 billion in the first half of year 2008. The increase is varied in the size of investment from one year to another and the year 2007 recorded the highest development average. It created ten thousand opportunities of jobs to the national elements. The projects were increased by a value of $1.5 billion in comparison to $720 million in 2007. The number of investment projects that entered the operations in the first half of this year provided 2,267 opportunities of employment for Libyans. [, 10/22/2008]
17. (U) Libya Eyes European, U.S. Equities: The Libyan Investment Authority is looking to invest $65 billion in European and U.S. equities to diversify its portfolio after recent market declines. "We want to diversify, number one in Europe, number two in the United States, and then in emerging market economies," said Farhat Bin Guidara, Governor of the Central Bank of Libya and a member of the board of the state's investment authority. "We are going more towards pharmaceuticals, telecoms, utilities and food manufacturing," he told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Cairo. [Reuters, 10/24/2008]
18. (U) Libya Buys 4.23% Stake in UniCredit: The Central Bank of Libya, the Libyan Investment Authority and the Libyan Foreign Bank acquired a combined 4.23% stake in Italian bank UniCredit SpA (UCG.MI). According to UniCredit's spokesman, the acquisition by Libyan interests is "friendly." The stake initially held by Libyan interests in the Italian bank was 0.87%, the UniCredit spokesman said, with the rest being purchased over the last few days. UniCredit shares have had hardly any relief from selling and have lost 30% since the bank announced its funding plans on October 5. Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi said he is concerned sovereign wealth funds from oil-producing countries could launch a hostile takeover for Italian companies, given their low valuations after the recent sharp fall in the stock markets. [, 10/19/2008]
19. (U) Egypt's Naeem Wins Approval to Open in Libya: Naeem Holding, Egypt's second-largest publicly traded investment bank, said on Sunday it had won approval to open a representative office in Libya. The bank did not say when it would open the office in a statement on the stock exchange website. A company spokesman said he could not immediately give further details. Naeem, which operates in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, said in May it planned to reduce the proportion of its revenue from Egypt to between 35 percent and 40 percent from 70 percent within two years. [Reuters, 10/27/2008]
20. (U) Zhongxing Auto to Export 5,000 Pick-ups to Libya: Hebei Zhongxing Automobile Co., Ltd., an expert of pick-up trucks and SUVs in North China, clinched an agreement with Libya on October 20, 2008 on exporting 5,000 pick-ups. The Hebei-based carmaker exported 4,000 cars to the North African country in 2003 and those products used by government organs and social organizations won excellent public praise in the country for the company, laying a strong foundation for the big order this time. The order of 5,000 pick-ups accounts for 40%-50% of the market demand for 10,000-12,000 such cars in Libya this year. The company expects to sell 35,000 to 40,000 cars this year, with a yearly increase of 15% to 20%. [, 10/23/2008] LABOR
21. (U) Libya to Recruit Large Number of Bangladeshi Laborers: Libya signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bangladesh to recruit a large number of workers as Tripoli launched a $130 billion infrastructure development program that will require over one million foreign workers. The MoU was signed by the Bangladesh Foreign Adviser, Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury and the Libyan Labor Minister Maa'touq Mohammed Maa'touq. Under the five-year development program, Libya will construct 300,000 housing units, 27 university complexes, over 10,000 kilometer roads and maintain 24,000 kilometer roads. Presently, some 25,000 Bangladeshi are employed in Libya. The Libyan minister did not give the exact number of Bangladeshi workers they will recruit but said they issued 6,000 visas for Bangladeshi workers last month. [, 10/31/2008]
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