Saturday, 4/4/2020 | 8:25 UTC+0
Libyan Newswire

UN adds Libyan tanker to sanctions list after ‘illicit’ crude oil loading

The UN Security Council has added a tanker carrying a disputed cargo of crude oil loaded from Libya's eastern Marsa el-Hariga oil terminal to its list of sanctioned individuals and entities.

The Distya Ameya, also known as the Kassos, an Indian-flagged 95,420 dwt Aframax vessel, was added to sanctions list late Wednesday after a request from Libya's National Oil Corp. (NOC).

The vessel will remain on the list until July 26, "unless terminated earlier," the UN said in a statement.

"The vessel may have been sold recently to an unknown buyer and the vessel's name may have changed to Kassos," it said.

The cargo of 650,000 barrels of Messla and Sarir crude was loaded over the weekend and departed Marsa el-Hariga.

As of Thursday morning, the vessel was anchored in international waters off the coast of Malta, where it has been refused docking permission. However, no new destination has been listed by the ship's captain, according to Platts trade flow software cFlow.

The vessel was chartered by UAE-based DSA Consultancy FZC. The company could not be reached for immediate comment.

The 195,000 b/d Marsa el Hariga oil terminal is operated by Arab Gulf Oil Company, or Agoco, a subsidiary of NOC based in the eastern city of Benghazi. Until recently, ST Shipping had been the main lifter of cargoes from Hariga sanctioned by Tripoli-based NOC.

There is currently one vessel at the terminal, the 149,953 dwt Malta-flagged Seatriumph, which has been moored at the port for the last six days. Heading toward Marsa el-Hariga is the 105,998 dwt Panama-flagged Trident Hope.

With limited storage capacity at Hariga, without further exports from the terminal Agoco may be forced to reduce its upstream production. Agoco operates the Sarir, Nafoora and Messla oil fields, which were capable of producing close to 400,000 b/d prior to the Libyan revolution.

Libyan production is currently 360,000 b/d. NOC spokesman, Mohamed El-Harari told Platts Thursday.

The North African state's oil output has fluctuated between 295,000 and 380,000 b/d this year, a fraction of its total capacity of 1.6 million b/d.

Since late 2014, Libya has been dominated by two regional governments that have been vying for control of its resources - one based in Tripoli and the other in the eastern town of Beida.

The dispute has intensified in recent months, despite the formation of a Government of National Accord, as the Beida government has established its own eastern NOC equivalent and has been seeking to sell crude independently.

Source: Platts