Libya to Rebuild Army

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Libya to Rebuild Army
Released:  11/02/20142014-02-11
Word count:  511

Shahat — Libya's interim authorities say they are making efforts to bolster the military and build a professional army.

All Africa
The most important of these efforts are represented in sending batches of new conscripts, current soldiers and former fighters against Kadhafi's forces overseas to receive military training. "There are about 400 trainees in Turkey, and we'll send 400 more in the coming days to Italy," interim Prime Minister Ali Zidan said January 8th. "Turkey will take about 3,000 trainees, Britain will start with 400, to be raised to 2,000. We've also prepared 10 camps across the country to absorb those trainees." "There are currently 5,000 army trainees overseas, not to mention those recently sent to Italy, Turkey and Britain," he added. "They include officers and non-commissioned officers, sent to Pakistan, the Gulf, Morocco, Algeria, Italy, Germany, Britain, the United States and other world countries for training."

Libyan troops will also be sent to southern Europe to be trained by US troops as early as this summer. As many as 8,000 Libyan soldiers will take part in a 24-week training programme. The day after Zidan's statements, a batch of 400 officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers from an infantry battalion departed from Mitiga airport on their way to Italy to attend a training course lasting for three or four months as part of a programme to integrate former revolutionaries and rebuild the Libyan army.

Libyans, meanwhile, are urging Tripoli authorities to quickly bolster military forces in order to put an end to the relentless bombings and assassinations. "I have big questions about the slowness and failure to build the Libyan army, three years since liberation," political activist Nadia Jaaoda said.

"Events taking place now, including wars, conflicts, kidnappings and assassinations, indicate that there is no security, and show indifference and lack of desire to build the army," she told Magharebia. There is no hope "about building a state without first building the army", according to Jaaoda. "Building the army must not be arbitrary, but according to a clear plan and a comprehensive strategy, specifying the number of personnel in the army to be built, and determining whether it's going to be a defensive or offensive army," she continued.

She backed the idea of seeking international expertise, "to have a strategic ally that can help build the army". "We don't want our army to be just a soldier carrying a weapon and standing opposite a camp; rather, we want it to be a developed and educated soldier who can deal well with technology," the political activist concluded. Adel Elhasy is a former field commander of the Free Libyans Brigade. He disbanded the group following the GNC election in July 2012 and handed its weapons to the state. Now he recommends training those fighters in discipline, order and competency.

But according to Elhasy, groups with their own agendas, such as the "Libya Revolutionary Chamber", have impeded the building of an army. "All those are trying to form new entities under new names, such as the national guards, so they can have the deterrent military force in their hands," he told Magharebia.

These groups "won't accept a professional army with a correct doctrine, with army officers who joined the front and real revolutionaries forming its nucleus".
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Oil & Gas News
Released:  02/09/20142014-09-02
Word count:  336

Nearly 18 months after the In Amenas attack, Statoil and the joint venture partners are ready to resume ordinary operations at the plant

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“The decision to resume ordinary operations also at In Amenas is the result of a thorough and stepwise process of identifying necessary security measures, implementing them and validating that they are in place and operational,” said Lars Christian Bacher, executive vice president for Development and Production International (DPI) at Statoil.

The corporate executive committee has decided that ordinary rotation is to be resumed at the plant as all defined security measures have been implemented.

In June, the corporate executive committee approved the return of temporary manning to the plant to finalise the implementation of the outstanding security requirements.

The goal was to verify the implementation of the last security measures and to prepare for a resumption of ordinary operation at In Amenas. During the autumn of 2013 and early in 2014 it was decided to resume ordinary operations at the other locations in Algeria.

Since the In Amenas attack, Statoil has worked systematically with its partners in Algeria with the aim of resuming ordinary operations in Algeria. The security improvements at In Amenas are also based on recommendations of the investigation conducted after the attack.

In parallel with this work, the company has carried out a continuous and comprehensive improvement effort to enhance the general security work in Statoil. The goal of this programme is to achieve considerable improvements both with regard to awareness, organisation, systems and use of resources.

Through the security improvement effort at the Algeria plants the joint venture has introduced physical security measures at all operating plants.

The security work, both in Statoil and in the joint venture, has furthermore been reorganised, and the dialogue with Algerian authorities on securing of the plants has been improved. Algerian authorities have also initiated and introduced security measures beyond those implemented by the joint venture.

“We will now, in cooperation with our partners, continue our systematic work to maintain the high level of the security measures, to ensure that we have a good understanding of the security threats and adjust our security measures as required,” continues Bacher.  
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Oil & Gas News
Released:  01/09/20142014-09-01
Word count:  73

Libya oil production rises to 700,000 barrels per day -state oil firm

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Reuters
TRIPOLI Aug 31 (Reuters) - Libya's oil production has risen to 700,000 barrels per day, a spokesman for state-run National Oil Corp (NOC) said on Sunday.

The OPEC member's output has risen steadily in the past few weeks as major oil ports in the east have reopened after a deal between the government and a group of rebels who had closed them before.

(Reporting by Feras Bosalum; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Hugh Lawson)  
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Oil & Gas News
Released:  29/08/20142014-08-29
Word count:  382

LONDON: Brent crude oil fell towards $102 a barrel on Thursday, depressed by ample supply and lacklustre demand as global economic growth remains tepid.

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Oil supply is expected to exceed demand this year, analysts forecast, and crude oil benchmarks on both sides of the Atlantic Basin are on track to post a second monthly decline.

"It looks like there is crude everywhere," said Tony Nunan, a risk manager at Mitsubishi Corp. "There's just too much supply and we've had terrible demand." ABN AMRO Bank senior energy economist Hans van Cleef agreed, saying oil for delivery in the near term was "down as a result of weak demand and oversupply":

"The market should price in lower oil prices in the near term," van Cleef said. October Brent crude was down 25 cents at $102.47 a barrel by 0800 GMT. Last week, the contract hit a 14-month intraday low of $101.07 and it has been unable this week to break out of the $102-$103 range.

US crude slipped after news of the fire at BP's largest refinery in the United States. The October contract was last down 40 cents at $93.48 a barrel.

BP Plc said on Thursday its refinery at Whiting, Indiana, was still operating following a blaze the night before that had minimal impact on production. OECD oil inventories rose sharply in the second quarter, while tit-for-tat sanctions between the European Union and Russia have curbed growth in Europe, Nunan said.

Hopes that the presidents of Russia and Ukraine could reach a ceasefire deal dimmed after Ukraine accused Russia of launching a new military incursion across its eastern border on Wednesday.

Oil futures were little changed in the previous session following a neutral inventories report from the United States, while investors looked ahead to economic data to gauge the outlook for demand in the world's largest oil consumer.

US crude stocks fell 2.1 million barrels last week, more than expected as refineries processed more, but inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma hub rose 508,000 barrels, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday.

Political instability in Iraq and Libya continued to weigh on investors' minds even though oil exports from the two countries have actually risen in recent months.

Analysts have warned that a comeback by Libya's oil industry may be short-lived as armed groups and two parliaments fight for control of the North African country.

An Islamist insurgency in Iraq threatens to derail long-term oil output plans set by OPEC's second largest producer.  
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Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  28/08/20142014-08-28
Word count:  214

Wintershall AG, the oil and gas unit of German chemical group BASF SE (BAS), said a lack of infrastructure is the only thing holding it back from resuming onshore oil production at full capacity in Libya.

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Bloomberg
“We’re ready to start production almost any day,” Martin Bachmann, Wintershall’s executive director for exploration and production, told reporters today in Stavanger, on Norway’s west coast. “What we lack is the export infrastructure. One day it’s the harbors which are occupied; when they’re open, the pipelines aren’t available.”

Wintershall is waiting for Libya’s national oil company to confirm that the infrastructure is ready, he said. Production could then increase “fairly fast” to the pre-stoppage capacity of almost 100,000 barrels of oil a day, Bachmann said.

Libya has spiraled into chaos as rival militias fought for power since the ouster of strongman Muammar Qaddafi in 2011. Wintershall’s onshore crude production was shut down in the summer of 2013 because of unrest, which blocked ports and other transport infrastructure, including pipelines.

The company said its operations and plans in Russia haven’t been affected by European Union and U.S. sanctions.

“There has been a negative spiral of sanctions, and I think we need to break that spiral,” Bachmann said. “There is no alternative to dialogue and cooperation.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Mikael Holter in Oslo at mholter2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net Indranil Ghosh, Alastair Reed
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Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  28/08/20142014-08-28
Word count:  459

NEW YORK, Aug 26 (Reuters) - U.S. crude rose on Tuesday as supportive U.S. economic data overshadowed concerns about slowed growth in other oil consuming economies and ample global oil supplies.

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Reuters
Brent crude futures settled lower and both U.S. and Brent finished off session peaks. U.S. crude drew support from government data showing durable goods orders jumped 22.6 percent in July, the biggest monthly gain on record. Also, the Conference Board, an industry group, reported that consumer confidence rose more than expected in August to its highest level since October 2007.

Brent crude fell 15 cents to settle at $102.50 a barrel, after reaching $103.40 during the session. U.S. crude rose 51 cents to settle at $93.86 a barrel, after failing to push through resistance in the area of the session peak at $94.35 a barrel, analysts said.

"We hit major resistance as the dollar got a little stronger. It's a rangebound trade with no real resistance" to the downside, said Bill Baruch, senior market strategist at iitrader.com in Chicago.

Brent and U.S. crude are on pace for a second straight monthly decline in August, as slow growth in China and Europe curbs demand for oil and led to a supply glut in the Atlantic Basin, offsetting the impact on prices from world political tensions.

Investors have unwound a global political risk premium in Brent, discounting the possibility of supply disruption despite conflicts in Iraq, Libya and Ukraine.

Barclays analysts said in a note that oil output was picking up from OPEC countries most likely to face supply bottlenecks such as Iran, Libya, Iraq and Nigeria.

Disrupted supply from these countries totalled less than 400,000 barrels per day in July, down from 1.6 million bpd in September last year, they said. Libya's oil production has been increasing in the past few weeks despite a split between an Islamist faction in Tripoli and the newly elected parliament, following air strikes attributed to Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

Brent's premium to U.S. crude CL-LCO1=R ended at $8.64 a barrel on Tuesday, after reaching $9.35 intraday. On Monday the spread widened to $9.41, the widest in more than two months, on news of a pipeline oil flow switch that will send more crude to the U.S. oil contract's delivery point in Cushing, Oklahoma.

U.S. crude and gasoline stockpiles fell by 1.3 million barrels last week, in line with analysts' expectations, while distillate stocks built by 2.4 million barrels, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday.

Investors will scour weekly U.S. government oil inventory data on Wednesday for further indications on supply and demand in the world's largest oil consumer.

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories are forecast to have fallen 1.3 million barrels last week, with refined product stockpiles also down, an expanded Reuters survey showed on Tuesday.

(Additional reporting by Robert Gibbons in New York, Julia Payne in London and Florence Tan in Singapore; Editing by Himani Sarkar, Jane Baird and Jan Paschal)  
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News Releases

News Releases
Released:  27/08/20142014-08-27
Word count:  327

The Libyan government through it embassy in Banjul Monday handed over 13 tractors to the Gambia government.

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All Africa
Solomon Owens, minister of Agriculture, speaking at the handing over ceremony recalled that there is a presidential proclamation that, come 2016, the importation of rice to The Gambia would be zero rated.

"Therefore, the coming of these tractors is very timely as an appropriate intervention in rice production through mechanization," he added. The minister of Agriculture then announced that "the 2016 initiative will require an increased area under rice production by 32.5 percent, that is, from 66,380 hectares to 87,984 hectares by 2016".

"Thus, if The Gambia is set to become food self-sufficient, cultivation methods will have to change from manual farming to highly-mechanized operations.

"In addition, complementing factors like irrigation; the use of advanced agronomic techniques; improved seeds and fertilizer use, as well as untapped land areas and water reserves will all have to come into play," Mr. Owens further stated. The Agriculture minister added that "these tractors will form a major component of our agricultural production input", and help in putting more land into production.

Such machinery will also reduced drudgery in farming activities, improve the timelines and efficiency of farm operations, as well as accomplish tasks that are difficult to perform without mechanical aid.

Minister Owens went on" "We are aware that Libya is investing a significant share of national revenues in agriculture through the use of machinery and labour-saving implements."

Speaking at the same ceremony held at the Libyan Embassy in Fajara, Dr Ibrahim AA-Abusheriah, charge d'affaires at the embassy, described handing over the tractors as "a gesture of goodwill, recognition and appreciation" from the Libyan people to the people of The Gambia.

Dr. AA-Abusheriah recalled that on 22 April 2011, the Gambia government in a statement came out openly and strongly in support of regime change in Libya.

"This timely and decisive stance... affected a change in the noncommittal position of the African Union, thus quickening the pace for the birth of the new state of Libya... We will never forget that paramount stance... ," Libya's top diplomat in Banjul declared.  
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Oil & Gas News
Released:  27/08/20142014-08-27
Word count:  60

Libyan oil production rises to 650,000 bpd - NOC

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TRIPOLI, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Libya's oil production has risen to 650,000 barrels a day, a spokesman for National Oil Corp (NOC) said on Monday.

The OPEC member's output has risen steadily in the past few weeks despite the spread of clashes between armed groups in the North African country.

(Reporting by Feras Bosalum; Writing by Ulf Laessing, editing by David Evans)
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Oil & Gas News
Released:  26/08/20142014-08-26
Word count:  321

LONDON—Libya said Monday normal operations had resumed at the giant Waha oil field as the country's output jumps in contrast with mounting violence in urban centers.

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The latest step in Libya's oil recovery contrasts with claims by an Islamist militia to have taken over of Tripoli's airport over the weekend.

Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Mohamed el-Harari, spokesman for the state-owned National Oil Co., said operations had resumed earlier Monday at Eastern Libya's Waha oil field, paving the way for a return to exported production later this week.

Waha, which normally produces 160,000 barrels a day, supplies crude to the Es Sider terminal, which restarted exports using stored oil last week after a year-long interruption.

The Waha field, which is partly owned by U.S. companies ConocoPhillips, COP +0.70% Hess Corp. HES +1.37% and Marathon Oil Corp. MRO +0.93% , has kept producing small quantities of oil for its own maintenance, according to an unnamed Libyan oil official. The unnamed official said supplies from the field could restart as early as Tuesday—which could bring Libya's overall production to about 800,000 barrels a day.

In recent weeks, the country's oil output has already bounced back after government deals with rebels and protesters led to the reopening of other oil fields and terminals.

As of Sunday, Libya's production stood at 665,000 barrels a day, Mr. el-Harari said. That is up from 150,000 barrels a day late May but still less than half the country's normal production of about 1.5 million barrels a day. The recovery of Libya's oil industry—a key oil exporter to European refiners—contrasts with mounting violence in the country's largest cities of Benghazi and Tripoli.

Over the weekend, a militia hailing from the Western coastal city of Misrata claimed to have wrestled control of Tripoli's international airport from a rival armed group from the mountain town of Zintan. The takeover, which was confirmed by residents in Tripoli, came despite aerial of Misrata militia's camps on Saturday.

Corrections & Amplifications

Libya's Waha oil field has resumed operations. The headline on earlier versions of this article mistakenly referred to the resumption of output.  
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News Releases

News Releases
Released:  26/08/20142014-08-26
Word count:  458

Oil was neutral at $102 a barrel on Monday as support from geopolitical tensions in Ukraine and Libya was negated by ample supply preventing a rebound from last week's 14-month low.

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Brent crude fell seven cents to trade at $102.22 at 1500 GMT on Monday, compared to a 14-month low of $101.07 it struck on 19 August. US crude was down 42 cents at $93.23.

Libyan exports have risen in the past few weeks although a further recovery looks uncertain, analysts say, and the revival stood in sharp contrast to rising violence in Libyan urban centres. Rockets hit eastern Libya’s Labraq airport in eastern Libya on Monday, a day after fire destroyed the terminal at Tripoli's main airport.

The escalating violence between armed factions has prompted Libya’s ambassador to Egypt to seek the international community’s help to protect its oilfields, airports and other key state assets.

At the same time, the country’s National Oil Company said that the key Waha oilfield had resumed operations and that the 160,000-barrel field could resume supplying crude to the Es Sider terminal as soon as Tuesday.

Libyan oil output has recovered to 655,000 barrels per day, the official said, up from a low of 200,000 bpd struck earlier this year before new deals with rebels in recent months but still way off its pre-war rate of 1.7 million bpd. "Oil prices are likely to stabilise, so we no longer expect prices to slide any further," said Carsten Fritsch, analyst at Commerzbank. "Risks to the oil supply are still considerable."

Underlining the extent of the recent selling pressure, exchange data for the week to 19 August released on Monday showed hedge funds and other big speculators had cut their bets on rising Brent prices to the lowest in more than two years.

Weak demand and healthy production have helped create a supply glut in the Atlantic Basin, pushing Brent into its longest contango since early 2011, Morgan Stanley said. In a contango market, immediate supply is cheaper than oil for delivery later.

“We expect Brent to trade in a slightly lower range for much of the third quarter, barring any geopolitical escalation,” the bank's analysts, led by Adam Longson, said in a note.

“Libyan supplies could trickle back, but maintenance and security issues should keep exports subdued.” In Europe, Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko for the first time in months on Tuesday to try to reach a compromise on Ukraine.

Russia wants to send a second humanitarian aid convoy to eastern Ukraine in the near future, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday after Kiev and the West criticised Moscow for sending the first without official permission.

The dollar index rose as the US Federal Reserve prepared to lay the groundwork for the central bank's first interest rate increase in nearly a decade.

A stronger dollar makes dollar-denominated commodities such as oil more expensive for holders of other currencies, and tends to weigh on prices.  
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Oil & Gas News
Released:  25/08/20142014-08-25
Word count:  544

U.S. crude oil ended lower Friday on demand growth concerns, despite some recent upbeat economic data out of the U.S. and a bigger than expected decline in U.S. crude oil stockpiles last week. Renewed concerns of a slowdown in China and the resumption of oil shipments from Libya weighed on crude oil, with worries centered around an oversupply situation.

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Investors mulled over Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's warning on Friday that rate hikes could come sooner than expected if the U.S. economic recovery is sustained. She was speaking at the Fed's annual Jackson Hole symposium, addressing fellow central bankers.

However, Yellen also said the Fed's internal labor market indicators suggest the recent decline in the unemployment rate overstates the improvement in overall labor market conditions.

Fed members are engaged in a tricky debate over when to raise rates from near zero for the first time in six years. With the Fed charged with promoting maximum employment, the debate hinges on a thorough analysis of slack in the labor market, the subject of today's speech by Yellen.

The minutes of the Federal Reserve's recent policy meeting indicated some fierce debate over interest rates with some members favoring a hike sooner than earlier forecast.

Investors were also focused on developments in Ukraine and the Middle East. According to reports, a part of the Russian aid convoy has moved into Ukraine, even as the Ukrainian government has reportedly accused Russia for sending the convoy past the border without permission.

In Iraq, U.S. military reportedly launched fresh strikes against IS militants, despite threats from Islamic militants to kill another US reporter held by them.

Light Sweet Crude Oil futures for October delivery, the most actively traded contract, dropped $0.31 or 0.3 percent to close at $93.65 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Friday.

Crude prices for October delivery scaled a high of $94.04 a barrel intraday and a low of $92.92. On Thursday, crude oil futures ended higher aided by a slew of upbeat U.S. economic data including reports showing a bigger than expected drop in jobless claims and a more than expected jump in existing home sales. Nonetheless, the gains were limited with some weak reading on Chinese manufacturing activity in August and on reports of oil shipments have resumed from Libya's largest terminal Es Sider.

The dollar index, which tracks the U.S. unit against six major currencies, traded at 82.28 on Friday, up from its previous close of 82.16 late Wednesday in North American trade. The dollar scaled a high of 82.46 intraday and a low of 82.06. The euro trended lower against the dollar at $1.3243 on Friday, as compared to its previous close of $1.3281 late Thursday in North American trade. The euro scaled a high of $1.3297 intraday and a low of $1.3222.

Speaking at the Jackson Hole Symposium, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the central bank could go either way with regard to interest rates. Yellen said an increase in rates could come sooner than expected if the progress on inflation and the labor market occurred more rapidly than anticipated. At the same time, future calls on rates could be more accommodative in the event of a disappointing economic performance.

From Europe, U.K.'s house price sentiment index rose in August at the slowest pace in five months, results of a survey by Knight Frank and Markit Economics showed Friday. The house price sentiment index, an indicator of house price trends, dropped to 61.8 in August from 62.4 in July. However, a reading above 50 indicates that prices are rising. It was the seventeenth consecutive month of increase.

by RTT Staff Writer For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com
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News Releases

News Releases
Released:  25/08/20142014-08-25
Word count:  209

BENGHAZI, Libya, Aug 23 (Reuters) - A second tanker finished loading oil at Libya's eastern Es Sider port, state-run National Oil Corp (NOC) said on Saturday, as exports from the country's biggest crude export terminal picked up after being closed for a year.

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The OPEC member's oil exports have risen in the past few weeks as major ports in the east have restarted operations following a deal in early July with a group of federalist rebels.

A second tanker bound for Italy finished loading oil at Es Sider and sailed off late on Friday, NOC spokesman Mohamed El Harari said. A first tanker left on Thursday.

Exports are resuming after technical problems and mistrust between the government and the rebels, who were campaigning for regional autonomy, delayed implementation of the port deal for weeks.

Oil production has risen to 612,000 barrels per day (bpd), NOC said on Thursday. This is well above lows of barely 100,000 bpd seen earlier this year but still short of levels of about 1.4 million bpd a year ago.

The North African country badly needs higher exports to cover its budget needs as oil is the only source of income. The restart of Es Sider comes at a time when clashes between rival groups who helped oust Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 have escalated in the capital Tripoli in the past few weeks.

(Reporting by Feras Bosalum; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by David Holmes)

((ulf.laessing@thomsonreuters.com; follow me on twitter @ulflaessing; Reuters Messaging: ulf.laessing.reuters.com@reuters.net))
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News Releases
Released:  22/08/20142014-08-22
Word count:  69

The US Office of Management and Budget has reportedly approved a controversial Dept of Homeland Security (DHS) rule to ease the way for Libyans to attend U.S. flight schools.

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It was put in place in the 1980s after a wave of Libyan terrorism and House Republicans say the ban should stay in place.

Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte said the proposed rule would “lift a longstanding prohibition on Libyans coming to the U.S. to attend flight school, to work in aviation maintenance or flight operations, or to study or seek training in nuclear science.”

(Source: Politico, Bob Goodlatte)
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Oil & Gas News
Released:  22/08/20142014-08-22
Word count:  46

Libya oil production rises to 612,000 bpd -NOC

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BENGHAZI, Libya, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Libya's oil production has risen to 612,000 barrels a day, a spokesman for state-run National Oil Corp (NOC) said on Thursday.

The OPEC member had last put output at 560,000 bpd.

(Reporting by Feras Bosalum; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Pravin Char)
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News Releases

News Releases
Released:  21/08/20142014-08-21
Word count:  179

LONDON (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs and Libya's sovereign wealth fund are set to meet in a London court over claims the Wall Street bank exploited a position of trust by encouraging the fund to invest more than $1 billion in trades that ended up worthless.

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Goldman had filed a summary judgment application - a request to decide a claim without going to trial - in the case brought by the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) in January, but has recently withdrawn it, the LIA said in a statement.

"Following the serving of the LIA's reply evidence, Goldman Sachs has withdrawn its summary judgment application," the LIA said.

A case management hearing has now been scheduled for early October.

Goldman did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A spokesperson previously described the claims as without merit and said the bank would defend them vigorously.

The LIA brought a lawsuit to London's High Court over a series of equity trades executed between January and April 2008 that expired as worthless in 2011.

The fund, which became a Goldman client in 2007, alleges that the bank deliberately exploited the relationship of trust and confidence it had established with LIA staff, causing the fund to enter into the disputed trades.

The LIA estimates that Goldman made substantial profit of around $350 million on the trades, while it was left with "colossal" losses.
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Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  20/08/20142014-08-20
Word count:  411

NEW YORK, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Brent crude oil shed nearly $2 a barrel to reach its lowest price in over a year on Monday as investor concerns over conflict in Ukraine and Iraq eased, and as higher Libyan oil output added to already ample supplies.

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Reuters
"You had a very solid run-up on Friday, probably related to geopolitical risk going into the weekend, and you have a hangover (Monday) because of that," said Stephen Schork, editor of the Schork Report in Villanova, Pennsylvania.

Crude pared gains from Friday's spike when the government in Kiev said its artillery had partially destroyed a Russian armoured column.

By Monday, Kiev military reported new successes overnight, building on a weekend breakthrough when Ukrainian troops raised the national flag in Luhansk, a city held by pro-Russian separatists since fighting began in April. Brent crude fell $1.93 to settle at $101.60 a barrel, after notching a session low of $101.11, the lowest since June 2013.

U.S. crude for September fell by 94 cents to settle at $96.41, after paring losses from an earlier low of $95.81. U.S. crude futures prices were briefly lifted off intraday lows by a report from industry intelligence company Genscape of "further increased activity" at CVR Refining LP's 115,000 barrel-per-day Coffeyville, Kansas, refinery. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment, however, said the refinery, which was shut by a fire on July 29, remained closed. The refinery has direct access to the Cushing, Oklahoma, oil storage hub and delivery point for the U.S. crude contract.

The September U.S. crude contract is set to expire on Wednesday. Its premium, or backwardation, to the October contract widened to $2.66, indicating supplies in the later month were expected to be more ample than in the immediate-term.

Phil Flynn, analyst at the Price Futures Group in Chicago, said Coffeyville could need additional crude as soon as it was up and running in order to make up for lost production. He also said refineries were entering "shoulder season," a period of weak oil demand when summer driving wanes and winter has not yet begun.

In Iraq, Kurdish peshmerga fighters and Iraqi forces have pushed Islamic State militants out of Mosul dam, state television reported, while higher Libyan output threatens to compound ample supply.

Advances by militants in Iraq in June prompted a rise in oil prices, although the fighting has yet to affect oil supplies from southern oil ports, the outlet by which almost all of Iraq's crude exports reach world markets.

Libya's production, disrupted for months by strikes and protests, had risen to 535,000 bpd on Sunday, higher than previously reported, but still far below the 1.4 million bpd pumped last year.

(Additional reporting by Alex Lawler and Jacob Pedersen; Editing by David Evans, Keiron Henderson, Marguerita Choy and Lisa Shumaker)  
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1 week ago

Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  20/08/20142014-08-20
Word count:  383

LONDON/TRIPOLI, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Libya is due to start loading its first crude oil tanker from top port Es Sider on Tuesday following a year-long blockade by eastern federalists, a Libyan oil official and trading sources said.

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Reuters
* Total oil output reaches 562,000 bpd

* Es Sider port to start loading tanker on Tuesday

* Wintershall restarts production for Ras Lanuf port (Adds context, detail)

The country's oil industry is making a modest comeback, restarting production and exports even while Tripoli has become a battleground for rival armed factions amid the worst violence since the 2011 civil war.

Output has risen to 562,000 barrels per day (bpd), the state-owned National Oil Corp said on Tuesday, although still well below its pre-blockade level of around 1.4 million bpd.

Through a two-part deal completed in early July, a federalist rebel group agreed to end its blockade of four eastern ports

Production, which fell below 200,000 bpd in May, has picked up since the deal to exceed 400,000 bpd over the past month.

Exports are inching up, helping the crippled government cover its budget needs, after falling close to zero in June.

Germany's Wintershall, a subsidiary of BASF, has restarted production at the 220,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Ras Lanuf terminal for the first time since protests ended in July, Ibrahim al-Awami, general manager of inspections and measurement at the oil ministry, told Reuters.

The resolution of the eastern protests and the election of a new parliament also helped stabilise the situation in the west, where other groups periodically shut down oilfields and ports.

In the eastern Es Sider terminal, the SC Sara tanker will be one of the first to load crude oil from storage at the 320,000 barrel per day Es Sider terminal on Tuesday, the market sources said.

Several more cargoes are expected to be shipped by companies with stakes in the Waha Oil Co, which runs the Es Sider port and connected oilfields, namely Marathon, Hess and Conoco. Austria's OMV is also expected to lift a cargo.

The port currently holds some 4.5 million barrels in storage, but once the tanks are emptied, the connected oilfields can restart production, officials said.

At the eastern Ras Lanuf port next to Es Sider, OMV was the first to load a cargo last week. Wintershall's output is blended to produce the Sirtica grade, exported by the Harouge Oil Co, which runs the port.

"Sirtica oil started being pumped to Harouge Oil Co to Ras Lanuf two or three days ago," al-Awami said.

(Additional reporting by Feras Bosalum in Benghazi; editing by Jason Neely and Jane Baird)
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Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  19/08/20142014-08-19
Word count:  98

Initiate drilling new well exploration in marine area

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NOC
On Monday the 18th of August 2014, Eni North Africa (Eni-NA) has spud its exploration well B1-16/4 in Contract Area “D”, offshore Libya.

The Area was granted to Eni-NA under EPSA IV contract model signed between the company and Libya National Oil Corporation (NOC) in 01 January 2008.

The Exploration well will be drilled in a water depth of 490 feet (149 meter) and it is located about 92 kilometer north of Tripoli and 44 Kilometer south of Al-Bouri Oil Field.

The estimated total depth of this well is (11,000 feet) and the drilling is expected to be completed in 3months from the spud date.
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1 week ago

Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  19/08/20142014-08-19
Word count:  99

Libya oil output up 535,000 bpd led by El Sharara, El Feel -NOC

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Reuters
BENGHAZI, Libya Aug 17 (Reuters) - Libya's oil production has risen to 535,000 barrels a day (bpd) due to a higher output at the southwestern El Sharara, El Feel fields, a spokesman for National Oil Corp (NOC) said on Sunday.

NOC had put output at 400,000 bpd on Thursday.

NOC spokesman Mohamed El Harari also said the eastern Es Sider port was ready to receive a first tanker after having been closed for a year by protests. "We are awaiting a tanker to arrive in the next days," he said.

(Reporting by Feras Bosalum; Writing by Ulf Laessing; editing by Jason Neely)  
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1 week ago

Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  18/08/20142014-08-18
Word count:  322

As Summer Said and Benoit Faucon report, the Es Sider port will resume operations next week. The port is capable of loading around 340,000 barrels of oil per day and there are some big tankers anxiously waiting to start taking on the crude that’s been piling up in storage in Libya.

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Wsj
With another large Libyan port already having reopened this week, hopes will be rising of a return of significant amounts of Libyan oil to international markets.

The irony is that all this oil may be struggling to find a home. The International Energy Agency earlier this week actually warned that Libyan oil is struggling to find buyers amid declining demand for crude world-wide, particularly in Europe.

This lack of demand appears to be the main reason why, in a period of seemingly high geopolitical stress—not just in Libya, but in Iraq, Ukraine and the Middle East—oil prices have counterintuitively been falling.

MEXICO IS BACK, TOO

Meanwhile, reform of Mexico’s oil sector continues apace.

The government there is to allow private companies to bid for 80% of new resources found in the country. That puts some meat on the bones of promised changes to Mexico’s oil industry, which has been dominated for decades by state-owned giant Pemex.

Pemex will, of course, continue to hold huge sway over Mexican oil, keeping control of the vast majority of the country’s currently active oil fields.

But the company itself is welcoming the sector’s reform. Long thought of as an inefficient and sometimes corrupt institution, Pemex now has the chance to change itself. According to an interview with The Wall Street Journal, its young chief executive, Emilio Lozoya, says the company has already received hundreds of offers for joint ventures from private oil companies.

Certainly some of the major oil companies will be licking their lips at the prospect of Mexico’s opening up, with assets in the Gulf of Mexico expected to be high on their wish lists.

MARKETS

Crude oil futures were lower in Europe after an unexpected increase in U.S. oil stockpiles and a disappointing performance by the European economy. You can read the Journal market report here.

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1 week ago
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