By Ahmed Elumami.
Tripoli, 6 January 2014:
The Libyan Navy intercepted a Maltese-flagged oil tanker trying to illegally enter Libyan waters near Sidra . . .[restrict]oil port in the early hours of this morning.
“The oil tanker was flying the Maltese flag and is called Baku,” Libyan Navy spokesman Ayoub Qassem, told the Libya Herald. “It tried to enter Libyan waters at 3 am this morning, but it was intercepted.”
After establishing that there was some suspicion regarding the tanker’s movements, Qassem said, a naval warship was sent to deal with the vessel.
Warning shots were fired to try and detain the tanker and bring it in to Misrata Port, he said, but it turned and headed out to sea using a zig-zagging technique. There were no casualties, he added.
Baku‘s crew made a pledge over the radio not commit such acts again, Qassem said, adding that this was recorded. The tanker was, this evening, nearing Malta, according to vessel tracking websites.
Qassem warned that if further tankers made similar attempts to illegally enter Libya, the Navy would use force.
On Saturday, the National Oil Corporation renewed its declaration of force majeure at three eastern export terminals, Sidra, Ras Lanuf, and Zueitina, warning against any illegal attempts to buy or sell crude without its authorisation. [/restrict]