Two months ago we noted the clashes between the Libyan government and the rebels over selling oil. It appears the rising threats are reaching a crescendo as AABAA reports the Libyan Navy has impounded a North Korean oil tanker trying to export oil from a rebel-held port of Es-Sider, and is on its way to Western Libya. Interestingly this comes just a day after the US issued a statement strongly condemning "illicitly obtained oil from Libya." We suspect Kim will not be a happy tyrant this evening and also note that the rebels deny the vessel is under government control.
North Korea is trying...
- *UN ENVOY TO LIBYA TAREK MITRI SPEAKS TO SECURITY COUNCIL IN NY
- *LIBYA OIL LOADING ON N. KOREA TANKER IS 'ILLEGAL,' MITRI SAYS
- *OIL LOAD ON N. KOREA TANKER VIOLATES LIBYA SOVEREIGNTY: MITRI
The US is concerned its losing its grip on USD-priced oil...
Illicitly Obtained Oil from Libya
The United States is deeply concerned by reports that a vessel sailing under the name Morning Glory is loading a cargo of illicitly obtained oil at the Libyan port of As-Sidra. This action is counter to law and amounts to theft from the Libyan people. The oil belongs to the Libyan National Oil Company and its joint venture partners. These partners include U.S. companies in the Waha consortium.
Any oil sales without authorization from these parties places purchasers at risk of exposure to civil liability, penalties and other possible sanctions in multiple jurisdictions.
And the Libyan Navy is clamping down...
- *LIBYA NAVY IMPOUNDS TANKER TRYING TO EXPORT IN ES SIDER: AABAA
- *TANKER WAS SEEKING TO EXPORT OIL FROM REBEL-HELD LIBYAN PORT
Libyan government forces on Monday seized a tanker that had loaded crude at a port under the control of rebels who plan to sell oil independently of the Tripoli government, state-owned National Oil Corp (NOC) said.
The North Korea-flagged shipped was being escorted to western Libya, NOC spokesman Mohammed El-Harari told Reuters, confirming Libyan media reports.
Lawmaker Abdelwahab al-Qaim told Reuters: "The ship has been seized by government forces. There are no damages to the ship."
A rebel spokesman had earlier denied they had lost control of the ship.
Yet another red line for Obama to draw...
“The government should now actively seek a solution” with rebels in the self-proclaimed eastern region of Barqa, Asma Sraibah, a member of parliament, said yesterday in a telephone interview in the capital city. “It would be a disaster if the government loses its main source of revenue.”
The head of Libya’s General National Congress ordered the creation of a military force to “liberate the oil ports,” congress spokesman Omar Homaidan was cited by state-run LANA news agency as saying today. The mission will begin within a week from March 8, the day the order was issued, according to LANA.
Crude loading from Es Sider “would be significant for the oil market if it becomes regular,” Theodore Karasik, director of research at the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis in Dubai, said yesterday in a phone interview. The eastern government’s goal “is to make this regular, but it will be very difficult as Tripoli will try to interrupt the flow.”