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Tripoli 21.12.2014 
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Sherwes Travel

Libya Weekly Security Update

Security Update –24 October 2014

Dear Shewes Travel readers, we advise you to read the security report before travelling to Libya.

Regional update

Tripoli, the West and South
Tripoli has returned to almost complete normality, indeed in many regards it is quieter (in a positive way) than it has been since the revolution. Whilst most Western embassies have yet to return given the continuing split (and it must be noted the risk of further associated violence) there are positive indications that international flights will become easier. Basic but worthwhile attempts have been made to increase the capacity of Mitiga Airport and air traffic control systems are again fully functioning. The Libyan owned Afriqiyah Airways has developed on a pre-existing agreement with an Irish company to allow for the re-start of flights from Europe to Misrata. It is understood that London will not be an initial destination but that Dusseldorf will be. In addition it is likely that both Turkish Airlines and Air Malta will also soon resume flights.

Recent heavy fighting in Kikla (150km south of Tripoli) between Zintani militia and non-Misratan elements of the Misratan-led alliance underlines both the fragility and complexity of the current situation. Kikla is of strategic importance with its position at the beginning the major route between Jabal Naffusah towns and its relative closeness to Tripoli.

The East
Intense fighting has continued in Benghazi with forces loyal to General Hafter seemingly making some territorial gains in recent days. Tobruk remains peaceful and with relatively easy international flight access. Operation Dignity and the al-Thinni Government have suggested they are preparing for an advance on Tripoli, however this appears unlikely to materialise in the short term.

Libya Weekly Oil Report – 24 October

Political and OPEC
With Libyan crude continuing to break back into the Mediterranean market, neither side in Tobruk or Tripoli are willing to endanger the revenues that accrue from crude sales and on which the entire structure of salaries and subsidies in Libya is dependent. The 11-month blockade and the strangling of state finances remains a stark warning for all sides. The political scuffle over the position of oil minister has yet to translate into difficulties at an operational level. The NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla and the rest of the board have accommodated Oil Minister Mashallah al-Zawie in taking the office of oil minister (al-Zawie is the Oil Minister in Hassi’s Misratan led-alliance government based in Tripoli). It is notable that all board members remain in position.

Ahead of the next OPEC meeting in Vienna National Oil Corporation (NOC) officials have asked the oil body to cut its oil output by at least half a million barrels, arguing that Libya should remain an exception to any OPEC cut given the current state of instability in the country. However an OPEC cut is unlikely as key member Saudi Arabia has quietly informed several market players that it is happy with lower oil prices.

The NOC is struggling to further recover production and exports and is virtually powerless to ensure any output target while forced to fire fight intermittent shutdowns at its facilities arising from industrial protests or fighting between militias (due in large part to Libya’s political split). Currently the NOC is trying to negotiate with protesters at the Gialo and Abu Attifel oil fields operated by state Waha Oil Co. and Italian oil major Eni respectively. Abu Attifel has not reopened since the end of the 11-month oil blockade. Protests appear to be over lack of job opportunities, a common cause of disruption in the energy sector since the 2011 revolution.

As Bloxtons reported in its 10 October issue a public spending authority under auspices of the General National Congress in Tripoli had placed a public sector wide payment limit of 200,000 Libyan Dinar. Payments above that amount can only be made if authorisation is first gained. The impact on NOC was disproportionally higher as the payments they make are on average much larger. The authorisation process had led to delays in payments which had resulted in the need to extend credit lines with international refined product suppliers. However it is likely the NOC will be able to receive credit terms despite the political turmoil. Some of Libya’s product suppliers, who are also long-term buyers of Libyan crude, had previously offered credit lines during the 11-month oil blockade.

Mellitah Oil and Gas Company have fixed a technical issue on the Greenstream pipeline supplying gas from Libya to the Italian mainland which reduced flow. Greenstream connects Mellitah in Libya with Gela in Sicily and has annual capacity of 8 billion cubic meters. Flows crashed in early October from 24 million cubic meters to 2.7 MMcm on 3 October before stopping completely on 4 October. Data from Italian grid operator Snam Rete shows gas flows had climbed back to 25 MMcm by 14 October.

Oil price and production
The NOC has also said in a statement on its website that the sharp drop in the oil price recently had “negatively affected the state budget”. Stating that “The decline in crude oil prices on the global market to very low levels is reflected in the income of all producing countries and oil exporters, including the state of Libya, given that export of crude oil is the only source of income for the Libyan state”. Provisional estimates are that Libya’s budget deficit could double to 19 billion Libyan Dinars ($15 billion) this year due to the blockade and ongoing political strife.

To re-enter the Mediterranean crude market Libya has already had to lower prices for its barrels with long-term buyers as its prolonged absence saw Nigerian sweet crude displace it.

But long-term, Libya’s production woes may be likely to continue. Although the output target of 1 million barrels a day, set by Tobruk based Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni for the end October, is not inconceivable by year-end, concern lingers over the state of the oil sector amid the political turmoil. According to an NOC planning official output currently hovers around 800,000 b/d but national energy policy remains in limbo as rival governments attempt to direct the NOC.

NOC officials and reservoir engineers have voiced concerns over the integrity of reservoirs at major oil fields such as the Eni-operated 130,000 b/d Elephant field and the Spanish Repsol-managed El Sharara field which at capacity can pump between 340,000-350,000 b/d. Other issues concern infrastructure – upgraded power plants are required at fields operated by both state Zueitina Oil Company and Waha in the eastern Sirte Basin.

Waha, a joint venture of NOC, with US Marathon, Hess and ConocoPhillips is producing again but has had to delay two major upstream developments designed to boost output to 600,000 b/d by 2017 due to security concerns.

Long-term improved oil recovery and enhanced oil recovery projects planned to boost state oil production by state subsidiaries Arabian Gulf Oil Company, Zueitina, Waha and Mellitah Oil and Gas have all had to be postponed. The 2.2 million b/d target, previously set by NOC in late 2012, remains a distant dream at present, but were a political solution to be reached, it might still be obtainable.

Meanwhile Libya has focused on the short term, content to be able to export its crude. Shipping data reveals oil majors have continued to lift (or have scheduled liftings of) crude cargoes for this month. With latest shipping data revealing Austria’s OMV, Tamoil, Italy’s Saras and Guernsey-registered and Swiss-based Petraco all lifting crude cargoes from offshore Bouri and unspecified onshore ports. Long-term buyers include Italian oil major Eni and Mediterranean-based refiner Saras, China’s Unipec, Spanish Cepsa and France’s Total.

Plasma Hotel**** - Tripoli
This very luxurious hotel is located just steps from Tripoli International Fair and a short walk to the city centre (Martyre Square). The hotel boasts wonderful views of the Tripoli city.
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Bab El Bahar Hotel**** - Tripoli
Bab El Bahar hotel is situated in the financial district of the city of Tripoli, it over looks the coast of the Mediterranean.
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Awal Hotel**** - Tripoli
Awal hotel is a new boutique hotel in Tripoli and with its central location, it offers the very best in modern hotel comfort. WELCOME!!!
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Four Seasons Hotel (1) - Tripoli
This luxuriously appointed hotel has been designed to reflect the mélange between the modernity and the Libyan traditional hosting.
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Al Khaleej Hotel*** - Tripoli
This charming and affordable hotel with cosy rooms and friendly English speaking staff is an easy stroll to the city centre.
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Al Kabir Hotel**** - Tripoli /Closed for renovation.
Al Kabir (Grand) is a 4 star hotel that is surrounded by gardens and offers spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea.
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Al Saraya Hotel*** - Tripoli
The hotel enjoys an excellent location, in the town centre, just a few meters from the lovely Avenue Omar Al Mokhtar and is just opposite Tripoli International Fairground.
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Zumit Hotel*** - Tripoli
An ancient 3 star hotel from the Othman period used since it was built as a hotel and as a rendezvous for convey merchants coming from Africa and Europe.
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Tripoli International Hotel**** - Tripoli
This hotel is very nice. It's only been open for a couple of months so it feels very new and clean.
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Thobacts Hotel**** - Tripoli
Thobacts Hotel, located in the heart of Tripoli City, is within walking distance of Tripoli International Fair, Fatha Tower, Martyre Square and Lido beach.
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El Khan Hotel*** - Tripoli
A lovely 16c riad style boutique hotel, very tastefully decorated. The hotel boasts lovely plunge pool and very good restaurant. Perfectly located in the heart of the medina.
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Diplomatic Hotel*** - Tripoli
Diplomatic hotel is a newly opened star hotel and is located in the heart of Tripoli´s commercial center.
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Libya Hotel - Tripoli ***
The central location in one of Tripoli's most dynamic business districts gives you access to reach the Tripoli International Fairground, El Fatah tower and Burj Abu Lila within a few minutes walking distance.
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The Golden Chain Hotel *** - Tripoli
It's a lovely and charming hotel. Only 5 minutes walking distance from Tripoli International Fair.
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Al Okhwa Hotel*** - Tripoli
Al Okhwa hotel is one of the modern hotels in Tripoli and is located in the city centre only few meters from Tripoli International Trade Fair.
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Al Waddan Hotel***** Tripoli
This 5-star hotel is situated in the heart of Tripoli and nestles between the mature trees and shrubs that line the Corniche.
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Al Fousul Al Arbaa Hotel (2) ** - Tripoli
There's an abundance of creature comforts and delights at this centrally located hotel. Close to Tripoli International Fair, Martyre Sqaure and Tripoli's old town (medina).
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Corinthia Bab Africa Hotel ***** - Tripoli
This 5 star hotel is Located in one of the fanciest neighbourhoods in Tripoli.
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Al Kendi Hotel** - Tripoli
It is one of the excellent hotels which is located in the middle of Tripoli city.
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Al Andalus Hotel ** Tripoli
This stylish two-star is located in the city centre of close to businesses, shopping centres and area attractions.
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Assafi Hotel** -Tripoli
The friendly, peaceful 2-star Assafi hotel is ideally located on a small, quiet street and right across from Tripoli International Fair.
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Thuria Hotel *** - Tripoli
Thuria hotel is ideally situated to make the most of any trip to Tripoli.
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Ashajara Hotel*** - Tripoli
Ashajara hotel is a 3 star hotel located in Dahra area, which is in the heart of the city. Its unique location grants the residents an easy access to the Tripoli utilities & services.
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Safwa Hotel*** - Tripoli
SAFWA hotel is a First Class, 3 star hotel that has been uniquely designed in suites. It is located in the the old Italian quarter in the center of Tripoli.
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Zahrat El Khaleej Hotel *** - Tripoli
A charming Hotel that is located in the city centre. The hotel offers a reasonable price for good standard accommodation
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Yousser Hotel Tripoli **
Yousser hotel is located in the Italian old quarter Dahra, close to the Embassy of Italy and Al Wadan hotel.
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Bait Al Sharq Hotel*** - Tripoli
Bait Al Sharq Hotel provides the value for money hard to find in this area.Extremely well located.
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Radisson Blu Hotel***** Tripoli
Coming soon. The hotel is Located in one of the fanciest neighbourhoods in Tripoli. Location: 800 meters from Green Square.
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Al Rayan Hotel*** - Tripoli
New hotel coming soon.
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Coming soon.
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New hotel
Coming soon.
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New hotel
Coming soon.
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Sherwes Travel • P.O. Box 91713 Dath El Emad • Tripoli • Libya • Tel/fax: +218-21-4801370 • Cellphone: +218-925201677
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