Saturday, 4/4/2020 | 4:58 UTC+0
Libyan Newswire


BENGHAZI (Libya) -- An oil tanker left the Libyan port of Ras Lanuf for Italy on Tuesday, in the first shipment since late 2014 when fighting erupted over control of the "oil crescent," an official said.

Oil is war-ravaged Libya's key asset, and rival administrations have been vying for control of its oil wealth and territory since the 2011 uprising that overthrew dictator Muammar Gaddafi and plunged the country into chaos.

"The Maltese-flagged vessel Seadelta left Ras Lanuf port with 776,000 barrels of oil, going to Italy. This is the first shipment of oil from Ras Lanuf port since November 2014," said Omran el-Fitouri, oil exports coordinator at the port.

It is the first shipment to leave any of the four ports in the area since they were seized by military strongman Khalifa Haftar last week.

On Sunday Sept 18, fighters loyal to Libya's UN-backed unity government launched an attack aimed at retaking the key eastern oil ports, but were repelled by Haftar's forces.

The fighting led a Maltese-flagged tanker to turn back out to sea for safety, abandoning plans to load crude oil at Ras Lanuf.

While Tuesday's shipment is the first from Ras Lanuf in nearly two years, other ports in the crescent have been operating intermittently.

Source: Nam News Network