Libya may be able to export as much as 1.2 million barrels of oil a day, equal to between one and two tanker cargoes, within the next 12 months, according to IHS Energy.
The North African country may be able to ship 250,000 to 300,000 barrels a day within three months if stability returns and foreign employees resume working, Samuel Ciszuk, senior Middle East and North Africa analyst at IHS Energy, said today by phone from London. An aframax tanker can haul as much as 690,000 barrels, according to Poten & Partners, a New York-based consultancy.
Exports of Libya’s light, sweet crude slumped as rebels battled Muammar Qaddafi. The International Energy Agency in June announced the release of 60 million barrels of oil from member nations’ emergency stockpiles as the fighting pared global supplies. Today rebels said Qaddafi’s 42-year rule “is over” as opposition fighters engaged pockets of loyalist troops near the presidential compound in southern Tripoli and in the center of the capital.
Brent crude for October settlement dropped 94 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $107.68 a barrel by 5:50 p.m. in London on ICE Futures Europe exchange. Prices are up 14 percent this year.
“They were exporting 1.5 to 1.6 million barrels a day before the civil war, so in a best-case scenario, they could increase to an export of 1.1 to 1.2 million barrels a day, but everything will have to work out politically, and that is the big question mark,” said Ciszuk. Reports of looting and possible damage to older oilfields that had been shut down quickly may slow the return to production, he suggested.
Charter rates for aframaxes on the trans-Mediterranean route have plunged 51 percent from this year’s peak on March 2, based on data from the Baltic Exchange. Today they rose 2.4 percent to 95.42 Worldscale points.
Worldscale points are a percentage of a nominal rate, or flat rate, for more than 320,000 specific routes. Flat rates for every voyage, quoted in U.S. dollars a ton, are revised annually by the Worldscale Association in London to reflect changing fuel costs, port tariffs and exchange rates.