By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli, 3 May 2016:
A Maltese-flagged tanker was this evening moving away from Tobruk after being blocked from loading at the Hariga oil export terminal in an escalating row between Tripoli-based National Oil Corporation and the rival eastern NOC.
The master of the 250-metre Seachance was reportedly told that his vessel would not be loaded. Reuters has said that workers at the terminal had been instructed not to handle the tanker. The vessel was due to lift around 350,000 barrels of crude sold by the Tripoli NOC. The purchaser was very probably the international trading firm Glencore. This company is believed to have cut an exclusive deal with NOC in the capital to lift oil from Hariga.
The eastern NOC blocked the loading of the vessel which had been standing off the port for two days. There are currently no other tankers on the loading jetty.
The move is clearly a response to last week’s UN interdiction of the Indian-flagged Distya Ameya which eastern NOC used to try to export 650,000 barrels of crude on its own account. The fully-loaded tanker held off Malta for three days before being routed back to Libya to discharge its cargo in Zawia.
The Hariga terminal has a loading capacity of 51,000 b/d and its tank farm is reportedly almost full. The nearby AGOCO-operated refinery can process up to 20,000 b/d. [/restrict]