Arab Today, arab today libya militants try to load oil on north koreaflagged ship
Last Updated : GMT 03:45:21
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Libya militants try to load oil on North Korea-flagged ship

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Libya militants try to load oil on North Korea-flagged ship

Benghazi - AFP

 Militants blockading the Libyan oil terminal of Al-Sidra tried Saturday to load crude aboard a North Korean-flagged ship, in the latest challenge to government control of exports, a lawmaker said.A member of the energy committee in Libya's interim parliament, the General National Congress, said "the oil tanker, bearing the name Morning Glory, anchored on Saturday at 4:00 am (0200 GMT) at the port of Al-Sidra."The armed men, who are seeking autonomy for Libya's east, were trying to load a shipment of petroleum "outside the framework of the state," said the GNC member, who spoke on condition of anonymity.Acting Oil Minister Omar Shakmak denounced the move as an "act of piracy.""This is a violation of national sovereignty. It is up to the defence ministry to deal with this ship," he told AFP, without elaborating.The latest crisis erupted in July, when security guards at key oil terminals shut them down, accusing the authorities of corruption and demanding a more equitable distribution of oil revenues.The situation has become more complicated as self-rule activists in the east have insisted on the right to export.Saturday's incident was the latest in a standoff between the government and militants over exports, which are the principal source of revenue for the North African country.In January, the navy prevented two tankers docking in Al-Sidra to take on crude. The government even threatened to bomb any ships attempting to dock without permission from the National Oil Co.Following the blockade, production plunged to around 250,000 barrels per day from 1.5 million bpd, and the economy ministry estimated the treasury has lost more than $9 billion (6.6 billion euros) in revenue.Production has since recovered to 546,000 bpd, but the crisis has taken its toll.

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