Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) has sent a letter to shipowners, traders, and shipbrokers warning not to load “unauthorised” export crude. NOC belongs to the internationally-recognised government of Libya, but given more than five years of civil war there have been plenty of incidents of oil being exported via rival factions. NOC and Libyan government have repeatedly warned in recent years of threats to bomb ships that come into Libyan waters to take unauthorised oil.
NOC claims a number of firms are looking to charter vessels to load illicit cargoes of Libyan oil at the Marsa el-Hariga export terminal.
“Shipping market participants are advised that these contracts and the individuals who signed them have no legal standing,” said Ahmed Shawki, the NOC’s general marketing manager in a letter addressed to Katharina Stanzel, managing director of oil tanker association Intertanko.
Ships found to be loading oil illegally will be impounded, Shawki warned.