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Crude Tanker Heads for Libya as Rebels Reach Qatar Accord

A crude tanker able to load 1 million barrels of oil is heading toward a Libyan port controlled by rebels, days after they completed a deal with Qatar to sell cargoes, ship-tracking data show.

The Equator, operated by Dynacom Tankers Management Ltd., will arrive tomorrow at the Marsa al Hariga terminal, near the port of Tobruk in eastern Libya, according to AISLive Ltd. ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg. The ship was last reported proceeding north through Egypt’s Suez Canal.

“That’s certainly news that should calm oil markets a bit,” said Hannes Loacker, an analyst with Raiffeisen Bank AG in Vienna. “However, the supply volumes won’t be a game-changer for the global market” because fighting will likely continue to disrupt exports, he said.

Crude traded in Europe jumped 27 percent in 2011 to $120.20 a barrel at 4:45 p.m. in London because of the uprising in Libya this year and signs unrest was spreading to countries including Syria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. That’s stoked concerns high oil prices would fan inflation and curb an economic recovery as central banks respond by raising interest rates.

Libyan crude output plunged 72 percent to 390,000 barrels a day in March, according to a Bloomberg News survey. That’s the lowest amount in yearly data since 1962. An interim national council, representing groups opposing ruler Muammar Qadaffi, said April 1 that Qatar agreed to market their oil and create a deposit account where fees from selling the cargoes could be sent.

Oil-tanker charters for loadings in Libya halted last month as the uprising intensified, Clarkson Plc, the world’s largest shipbroker said March 8.

Ody Valatsas, chartering manager at Dynacom in Athens, declined to comment. Dynacom is Greece’s third-largest operator of supertankers.

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