Libya could overtake Russia in oil and gas imports to Germany and the rest of the EU, according to Libya’s ambassador to Germany.

Speaking at the 3rd German Libyan Economic/Business Forum held in Tripoli at the end of April, Jamal Barig, said that there needed to be a focus on the energy sector, noting that Libya was the largest Arab exporter of oil to Germany at Euro 4.9 billion in 2023.

The EU’s policy of reducing gas imports from Russia, following the latter’s invasion of Ukraine, provided an opportunity to Libya to increase its imports to them both, he added. Germany’s big push on renewables, should also provide an incentive to follow suit in developing Libya’s nascent renewables sector.

While the EU currently still relies on Russia for about 10% of its gas, increasing pressure is being put on the EU Commission to completely ban gas imports from Russia. Over 60 members of the European Parliament sent a letter to Ursula von der Leyen, President of the EU Commission, in early March, calling for such a ban. Further sanctions on liquified natural gas from Russia are expected imminently.

Acting Libyan Foreign Minister, Taher Al-Baour, noted at the same event that Libya needed to increase its knowhow in renewables, but that foreign investment was needed by countries like Germany, which are further advanced in their knowledge of the sector.

The Forum is organised by the General Union of Libyan Chambers of Commerce, the Arab-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Ghorfa) and the German Embassy in Tripoli.

The comments follow in the wake of meetings earlier in the Spring between the chair of the Renewable Energy Authority, Abdul Salam Al-Ansari, and the deputy ambassador for German, Sven Crosby to discuss joint cooperation in renewables, where the possibility of tapping into German expertise in the sector was also discussed.

“We are encouraged by this optimistic outlook for Libya’s oil and gas sector, and have the expertise to advise companies looking to explore these sectors in Libya,” noted Tarek Eltumi, of Eltumi Partners.

For more market updates, follow our LinkedIn page or visit our Insights page.