Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) sent the Greek flag vessel New Hellas tanker to begin loading oil at the country’s eastern Zueitina port, after rival forces, the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) and groups loyal to eastern commander Khalifa Haftar, stationed in the area agreed to let it dock and take the oil to safety. The Zueitina storage tanks contain about 3.08m barrels of crude oil and 180,000 barrels of condensate, Reuters reported
Port officials stressed that the terminal was still closed, but the vessel had started emptying storage tanks and reservoirs.
NOC said the New Hellas would transport about 620,000 barrels of oil at a time to Zawiya, and that it would charter additional ships to finish the process as soon as possible, according to Marine Link.
NOC’s Chairman, Mustafa Sunalla, said, “it was the right thing to do and I think shows that when the opportunity arises, we Libyans can do the right thing. Instead of all being harmed, all will benefit.”
The PFG signed a deal with the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli to end its blockade of Zueitina and two other ports, but eastern forces loyal to a separate government in eastern Libya have threatened to block terminal loadings and exports.