Oil Tanker Due to Load Crude at Key Libyan Port Has Small Delay

  • Libyan port official says vessel to load today or tomorrow
  • Ship was meant to arrive last night and start loading today

An oil tanker that’s supposed to collect crude from a key Libyan export terminal for the first time in almost two years is encountering a slight delay, an official said.

The Seadelta is having to wait longer than anticipated to load its cargo from the port of Ras Lanuf for unspecified “technical reasons”, Nasser Delaab, petroleum operations inspector at Harouge Oil Operations, said by phone Friday. The tanker should load today or Saturday at the latest, according to the official, who helps organize oil movements at the port. The tanker, meant to arrive last night, remains at sea, tracking data show.

The loading, assuming it proceeds, will mark a key milestone in Libya’s oil-market rehabilitation amid a conflict that’s crushed output to about a sixth of what it was four years ago. The state’s National Oil Corp. lifted export restrictions this week and said it has been handed control of the terminal by one of the nation’s military factions.

Shipments from Ras Lanuf and nearby Es Sider were halted since December 2014 amid conflict that followed the overthrow and death of former leader Muammar Qaddafi. There have been at least a dozen failed pledges to resume sales to overseas buyers.

Oil traded in London fell 75 cents to $45.84 a barrel at 1:22 p.m. in London.

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