Libya oil output at 224,000 bpd, exports 130,000 bpd

Updated 03 December 2013

Libya oil output at 224,000 bpd, exports 130,000 bpd

TRIPOLI: Libya currently produces around 224,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil, almost half of which is used to feed its Zawiya refinery, leaving exports at around 130,000 bpd, the country’s deputy oil minister said.
A mix of militias, tribesmen and political minorities demanding a greater share of Libya’s oil wealth and more political power have shut most oilfields and ports, cutting oil output from 1.4 million bpd in July.
Libya is in turmoil, with the government of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan struggling to control dozens of former militias that helped oust Muammar Qaddafi two years ago but have refused to give up their arms.
Production has gone up from 172,000 bpd two weeks ago when protesters from the Amazigh minority demanding more political rights ended a strike at the western Mellitah port, Deputy Oil Minister Omar Shakmak said.
Mellitah, located west of the capital Tripoli, is co-owned by Italy’s Eni and state National Oil Corp. (NOC).
But protesters demanding more autonomy for their eastern region are still blocking four key ports, keeping exports well below the OPEC producer’s usual output.
Exports remain at around 130,000 bpd as NOC is diverting oil from Brega port in the east to feed the 120,000-bpd Zawiya refinery, which supplies Tripoli with gasoline, he said.
“There is no export ... operation from Brega,” he said, showing the latest production figure sheets prepared for Zeidan.
Zawiya, the country’s second-largest refinery, used to be fed by the southern El Sharara field, which another set of protesters closed in October.
The deputy minister said the OPEC producer had lost more than 8 billion Libyan dinars ($6.5 billion) in oil revenues since strikes at oilfields and ports escalated in summer.
Libya also had to step up imports of petroleum products to meet domestic demand, he said, without giving a figure.
Asked whether the government would be able to end the blockage and reach a settlement with the strikers, he said: “Hopefully soon.”

France ready to take Trump’s tariff threat to WTO

Updated 08 December 2019

France ready to take Trump’s tariff threat to WTO

  • Macron government will discuss a global digital tax with Washington at the OECD, says finance minister

PARIS: France is ready to go to the World Trade Organization to challenge US President Donald Trump’s threat to put tariffs on French goods in a row over a French tax on internet companies, its finance minister said on Sunday.

“We are ready to take this to an international court, notably the WTO, because the national tax on digital companies touches US companies in the same way as EU or French companies or Chinese. It is not discriminatory,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told France 3 television. Paris has long complained about US digital companies not paying enough tax on revenues earned in France.

In July, the French government decided to apply a 3 percent levy on revenue from digital services earned in France by firms with more than €25 million in French revenue and €750 million ($845 million) worldwide. It is due to kick in retroactively from the start of 2019.

Washington is threatening to retaliate with heavy duties on imports of French cheeses and luxury handbags, but France and the EU say they are ready to retaliate in turn if Trump carries out the threat. Le Maire said France was willing to discuss a global digital tax with the US at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), but that such a tax could not be optional for internet companies.

“If there is agreement at the OECD, all the better, then we will finally have a global digital tax. If there is no agreement at OECD level, we will restart talks at EU level,” Le Maire said.

He added that new EU Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni had already proposed to restart such talks.

France pushed ahead with its digital tax after EU member states, under the previous executive European Commission, failed to agree on a levy valid across the bloc after opposition from Ireland, Denmark, Sweden and Finland.

The new European Commission assumed office on Dec. 1.