Sirte Oil Company

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Sirte Oil Company
Industry Petroleum
Founded 1981
Headquarters Brega, Libya
Key people
A. Soghair (Chairman)
Products Upstream
Number of employees
6652 (2006)
Website Official website

Sirte Oil Company (SOC) (Arabic: شركة سرت للنفط‎‎) is an oil and gas company in Libya operating under the state-owned National Oil Corporation (NOC). The company is located in Brega[1] SOC’s operations include oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) and manufacturing.


The company was initially known as Esso Standard Libya Inc., the first company to discover commercial quantities of crude oil in the Zelten oil field. In 1981, Exxon (parent company of Esso Standard) withdrew their Libyan operations, after which Sirte Oil Company was formed as a NOC subsidiary. In 1986, SOC took over the assets of Grace Petroleum, one of the five US companies forced by the U.S. government to leave Libya. In 1991, SOC merged with the National Petrochemical Company, creating the Sirte Oil Company for Production, Manufacturing of Oil and Gas. Activities included oil refining, liquefaction of natural gas and petrochemicals (methanol, ammonia and urea).

SOC operates the Raguba field in the central part of the Sirte Basin. The field is connected by pipeline to the main line between the Nasser field, one of the largest in Libya, and Brega. Besides Nasser, SOC is in charge of two other gas fields - Attahadi and Assumud - plus the Marsa el-Brega liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant.[2] The LNG plant at Brega processed about 900 million cubic meters per year, or about 700,000 metric tons per year, of natural gas.[3] In 2000, SOC reportedly made a 13-billion-cubic-meter-per-year natural gas discovery in the Sirte Basin (Africa Energy Intelligence, 2000a, b).[4]

Production Overview[edit]

  • Crude Oil Storage: The Tank Farm includes sixteen tanks. The design capacity of each individual tank is 268,000 bbl (42,600 m3).
  • Refinery: Capacity for processing 10,000 bbl/d (1,600 m3/d). The products are primarily used to satisfy domestic demand. The production slate includes: (1) gasoline; (2) kerosene jet fuel (Jet A): diesel oil (ADO): naphtha: and heavy fuel oil (HFO).

SOC Petrochemical Complex[edit]

SOC's petrochemical complex is located near Brega. It consists of six plants: The combined production capacity for the three products is 6,950 mtpd.[5] All products are marketed by the Brega Marketing Company.

  • Methanol plants (2): each having a capacity of 1,000 mtpd (1978 and 1985)[6]
  • Ammonia plants (2): one having a capacity of 1,000 mtpd and other with a capacity of 1,200 mtpd (1978 and 1983)
  • Urea plants (2): one having a capacity of 1,000 mtpd and another with a capacity of 1,750 mtpd (1981 and 1984).
  • Methanol Production: Uses natural gas from SOC’s gas fields for raw material. This product is vital for the production of many chemical compounds and is also used as fuel for some machinery in addition to its use in making protein for animal food products. Most of the methanol produced from the two plants is exported.
  • Ammonia Production: SOC’s ammonia-producing plant first converts natural gas (i.e. methane) into gaseous hydrogen. Starting with a natural gas feedstock, the first step in the process entails removal of sulfur compounds from the feedstock, because sulfur deactivates the catalysts used in subsequent steps. Ammonia is produced in liquid form at a temperature of -33 °C. Ammonia is used especially in the manufacturing of nitrogen fertilizers, one of which is urea fertilizer. Most of the production is used in making urea fertilizer. The remaining ammonia is usually exported.
  • Urea Production: Urea is manufactured from ammonia, which comes from SOC’s two ammonia plants. SOC’s urea quality is considered among the top quality nitrogen fertilizers. A large proportion of the production is exported in large quantities or packaged in 50 kg bags. This fertilizer contributes to Libya’s agricultural projects. It is also used for manufacturing animal food, insecticides as well as formaldehyde production. Attached to the urea plants are three stores each with a storage capacity of 35,000 tons.

SOC Brega Port, Marine and Utility Facilities[edit]

Brega port exports SOC's oil, gas and petrochemical products. The port comprises a single and double berthing docks with various depths, cargo docks, jetting and mooring for SOC products. The Utilities and Shipping Department is responsible for port operation and other related facilities. These include two power generating stations producing a total capacity of 115 MW. Additionally, there are two desalination plants with a capacity of 4.5 million US gallons (17,000 m3) per day.


SOC has the following fields:

  • Oil and Associated Gas Fields
    • Nasser (Zelten)
    • Raguba
    • Lehib (Dor Marada)
    • Jebel
    • Wadi
    • Ralah
    • Arshad
    • Ain Jerbi
    • Al Wafa
  • Non-Associated Gas Fields
    • Hateiba
    • Sahl
    • Assamoud
    • Meghil
    • Sorrah
    • Attahaddy


  1. ^ Libya Energy Data, Statistics and Analysis: Oil, Gas, Electricity, Coal. Energy Information Administration (EIA) July 24, 2007
  2. ^ Libya Reserves, Geology, NOC, Companies, EIA 2005
  3. ^ Mena Report, May 3, 2005, Libya National Oil Corporation—Shell reach agreement
  4. ^ Libya—Promising find on NC-186: Africa Energy Intelligence, No. 288, December 6, 2000 p. 3
  5. ^ metric tons per day
  6. ^ Date of establishment

External links[edit]