Video: White House weighs options to combat gas prices
Explainer: Overview of Libya's oil resources
OPEC member Libya is the 17th largest producer in the world, third largest producer in Africa and holds the continent's largest crude oil reserves. It normally pumps around 1.6 million bpd, 85 percent of which is exported to Europe and its output is equivalent to about 2 percent of global oil consumption.
Libya's place in the oil producing world
How the country measures up in crude supplies and production.
Before the war, Libya was a net exporter with domestic consumption estimated at only around 270,000 bpd.
Europe was most affected by Libyan oil export disruptions. About 28 percent of Libya's oil went to Italy, 10 percent to Germany, 11 percent to China and France and 3 percent to the United States.
Libyan oil accounted for about 23 percent of Ireland's oil and about 22 percent of Italy's, according to the IEA.
Around 13 percent went east of the Suez Canal to Asia.
The shortfall from the loss of Libyan output was covered by alternative sources such as Nigeria and Azerbaijan, which produce similar light crude oils to Libyan oil.
Saudi Arabia also brought some it its spare capacity online, according to Saudi sources. The kingdom promised to fill any supply gap caused by the unrest in Libya although it produces heavier crude with higher sulfur content than Libya.
Most of Libya's oil fields are located in and around the Sirte Basin, in the northeastern part of the country, which contains around 80 percent of the country's proven reserves.
Other key areas include the Ghadames Basin, about 240 miles south of Tripoli and Cyrenaica Basin in the northeast and the Murzuq oil field in the desert in the south of the country.
Libya has five domestic refineries with a combined capacity of 378,000 barrels a day:
Azzawiya Oil Refining Co
Sirte Oil Co
Ras Lanuf Oil & Gas Processing Co
Libya exported various grades of light crude from six major terminals, five of which are located in the eastern part of the country, where protests erupted near the second city of Benghazi.
Following are the eastern terminals with pre-war loading volumes in January, 2011 provided by the IEA.
Es Sider 447,000 barrels per day
Marsa El Brega 51,000 bpd
Ras Lanuf 195,000 bpd
Tobruk 51,000 bpd
Zueitina 214,000 bpd
Zawiyah 199,000 bpd (January exports)
Oother unspecified terminals 333,000 bpd
Libya's state company
Under the Gaddafi regime, Libya’s oil industry was run by the state-owned National Oil Corporation (NOC), which was responsible for managing exploration and production sharing agreements with international oil companies. Along with smaller subsidiary companies, the NOC accounted for around 50 percent of the country's oil output.
Major oil companies operating in Libya include:
BP (Great Britain)
ConocoPhillips (United States)
ExxonMobil (United States)
Hess Corp (United States)
Marathon (United States)
Occidental Petroleum (United States)
Shell (United States)
Wintershall, a unit of BASF (Germany)
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.