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Financial Outlook

Political instability, which Libya has experienced since the fall of Muammar Qadhafi in late 2011, continued to weigh on the oil-rich economy in 2013. In July 2013 separatists shut down key oil terminals, accusing the authorities of corruption and demanding a more equitable distribution of oil revenues. By December, production had plunged from 1.5 million bpd to around 225,000 bpd, and the ministry of economy estimated that as a result the country had lost more than US$10 billion in revenue; according to the IMF, in 2012 oil and natural gas accounted for nearly 96% of total government revenue and 98% of export revenues. However, in January 2014, Libya restarted oil production at the El Sharara field in the south of the country after protesters ended a blockade, with the National Oil Corporation announcing that initial output would be 60,000 bpd. Despite these problems, at the end of November 2013 Libya still had relatively high foreign exchange reserves of US$119 billion. Few economic statistics are available, but the government estimated unemployment at 15% at the end of March 2013.

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Further reading on Libya

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