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A tanker at Libya’s Hariga oil port has been refused docking because it had no permission from the Eastern Libya authorities, a source from Arabian Gulf Oil Company, which operates Hariga, an official told Reuters.
This is the second tanker to be refused docking, after yesterday a vessel commissioned by the Tripoli-based National Oil Corporation was denied access at the Zueitina terminal, also controlled by the eastern government.
Another tanker of the Tripoli-based NOC, however, was allowed to load as usual, Reuters notes in a report about the latest events in the Oil Crescent. Earlier this week, the head of the Benghazi-based NOC told Reuters he had issued an order that specified no tanker loadings without permission from the company.
The Benghazi-based NOC is the part of the original National Oil Corporation that supported the eastern government, which is not recognized internationally. The one that is, is based in Tripoli, and the Tripoli-based NOC is the company that the UN acknowledges as the legal entity with the powers to manage Libya’s oil industry.
Yesterday, the European Union issued a statement condemning the Libyan National Army’s handing control of the oil ports to the Benghazi authorities, saying, "The European Union and the rest of the international community, as set out in several UN Security Council Resolutions on Libyan oil, have consistently opposed any attempt to sell or purchase Libyan oil outside the official channels managed by the Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC)."
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The EU delegation in Libya added that the Benghazi NOC’s decision to have all exports approved by it ran counter to UN Security Council resolutions.
The LNA has controlled the Oil Crescent ports since 2016, but earlier this month its grip on them was challenged by other groups led by a Petroleum Facilities Guard commander who is wanted by the Tripoli authorities for the two-year blockade of the ports.
Yet unlike in 2016, when it handed the ports to the Tripoli-based NOC, the LNA now passed control of the facilities to the Benghazi NOC, signaling that the divide in Libya between East and West is deepening instead of closing.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.