A tender by Libya to buy millions of tonnes of heavy oil products, needed to rebuild the country in 2012, is being held up by plans to swap exports for imports, traders said on Friday.
Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) previously issued a tender to buy up to 3 million tonnes of low-sulphur fuel oil, which is used to build roads and generate power.
One trader involved in the negotiation process said the NOC wanted to swap up to 1.49 million tonnes of gasoil and 1.47 million tonnes of straight-run fuel oil in return for imports of low-sulphur fuel oil and other products.
"They think the premiums for export products are very low," the trader said.
The NOC recently agreed to buy up to 3 million tonnes of gasoline in 2012 from a small pool of refiners in the region including Russia's LUKOIL and Italy's Saras.
Traders said final volumes to be bartered were unclear as Libya's largest 220,000 barrel-per-day Ras Lanuf refinery remains offline.
Before the war, the plant exported up to six 45,000 tonnes of straight-run fuel oil a month, double the volumes sold by Zawia, the next largest refinery.
Ras Lanuf, which accounts for nearly two-thirds of the country's processing capacity, may not restart until as late as February, the NOC said this week.