(Editor's Note: This piece, written by Javier Blas, was originally published by the Financial Times. To read the complete piece, click below.)
Libyan rebels are set for their first oil export as soon as Tuesday as they seek funding to sustain their uprising against Muammer Gaddafi’s 41-year rule of the north African nation.
The Liberia-flagged Equator tanker was off Port Said, Egypt, early on Monday and is expected to dock at the Marsa el-Hariga crude oil export terminal near Tubruq, in east Libya, on Tuesday morning, according to Lloyd’s Intelligence, the shipping industry data provider.
The owner of the tanker, Greek-based Dynacom Tankers Management Ltd, declined to comment when contacted by the Financial Times. Dynacom is Greece’s third-largest tanker operator.
Oil traders and tanker shipbrokers said they did not know who had chartered the vessel, a Suezmax built in 1996 capable of carrying about 1m barrels of oil. Qatar last week offered to market the Libyan rebels’ oil. At current prices, 1m barrels of east Libyan oil should sell for about $125m.
The resumption of oil exports did not, however, placate the commodities market. Brent crude, the global benchmark, surged to a fresh 2½-year high of nearly $120 a barrel on Monday. Traders remain worried about the conflict in Libya, unrest elsewhere in the Middle East and a strike in the African nation of Gabon which has disrupted the production of about 240,000 barrels a day of crude oil since Friday.
Read the entire article on the Financial Times' website.