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

5th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

A tanker was due Tuesday to dock in the key eastern oil port of Tobruk to pick up the first oil cargo for 18 days from the rebel-held part of Libya, Lloyd's List said.

"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.

Libya, a key crude exporting nation in the Middle East and North Africa region, has seen its output slashed since rebels began an uprising against Moamer Kadhafi's rule.

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

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

"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 shipbrokers of off-market deals being done to ship oil from Libya. But none of that is confirmed and it's only speculation."

© 2011 AFP

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