Tanker due to dock in rebel-held Libyan port: Lloyd's List

5th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

A tanker was due to dock in the rebel-held Libyan port of Tobruk on Tuesday to pick up the first oil cargo for 18 days, Lloyd's List said, but rebels declined to confirm the report.

"There is a tanker which is scheduled to arrive later today at the oil terminal near Tobruk, according to Lloyd's Intelligence checking data," said Michelle Wiese Bockmann, markets editor of Lloyd's List, a shipping news and data provider.

She added: "We have yet to confirm if it has arrived... The owner of the tanker has yet to comment.

"It's a Suezmax tanker and it's able to load one million barrels of oil, or about 130,000 tonnes of oil. So it's over $100 million (70.5 million euros) worth of crude."

The Liberian-flagged ship was heading to the Marsa el-Hariga terminal, she said.

In Benghazi, a spokesman for the rebel Traditional National Council, declined to confirm or deny the report.

"These are national security questions, telling the enemy what we have and what we don't ... So we prefer not to comment on these things," said Mustafa Gheriani.

Libyan leader Moamer "Kadhafi is trying to bomb the oilfield, so this is a national security matter."

Libya, a key crude exporting nation, has seen its output slashed since rebels began an uprising against Kadhafi's rule in mid-February.

Bockmann said the last oil shipment from Libya was on March 18, and that there had been "none at all" since then.

Libya was producing 1.69 million barrels per day before the unrest but this had ground to a halt in the ensuing violence.

According to the International Energy Agency, its exports averaged 1.49 bpd before the uprising, with 85 percent of that going to Europe.

"If this shipment does go ahead, I think it will send a very strong message that international oil (exporting) is going to resume," added Bockmann.

"It's quite a risky business. The ship owner, I would imagine, is being paid a significant premium to bring that ship there."

She added that there were separate unconfirmed reports of other ships that could be heading for Libya at some stage.

"All tankers have to broadcast or transmit their destination... and we have yet to see another tanker" travelling to rebel-held parts of Libya.

"However, there are several tankers that analysts are looking at that could be heading for (Libyan) ports. We are not sure -- that is completely unconfirmed.

"There are also anecdotal reports amongst ship-brokers of off-market deals being done to ship oil from Libya. But none of that is confirmed and it's only speculation."

© 2011 AFP

0 Comments To This Article