Tamoil : Libya's stagnating business arm

Due-Gundersen, Nicolai (2013) Tamoil : Libya's stagnating business arm. Oil, Gas and Energy Law, 5, ISSN (online) 1875-418X


Amid continuing pressure to reform Libya's hydrocarbon sector, one external downstream business remains overlooked. Up until the revolution, the Tamoil brand represented a potential complement to Libya's oil and gas sector on two continents. Purchased by Gaddafi in the mid-eighties, the Tamoil brand was firmly cemented within Europe, thus providing the regime with a growing business arm across the water. Providing access to the European downstream (refining and distribution) sector, Tamoil rapidly developed its infrastructure, expanding its presence across Europe through the purchasing of gas stations in France and Italy and the establishment of its own refineries in Hamburg, Italy and Switzerland. In addition, the early nineties saw Tamoil relocate its Spanish offices to the port town of Barcelona. This strategic business decision gave Tamoil an additional oil route that could act as an alternative to the traditional shipping routes via Italy and allow the shipping of greater crude quantities from Libya should European demands for oil rise. Further, an additional oil route would guarantee the constant supply of Libya's natural product should relations with Italy sour.

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