North Korean tanker tried docking at seized Libyan oil port

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 05, 2014 1:55 PM

TRIPOLI/LONDON (Reuters) - A North Korean-flagged oil tanker has tried to dock at Libya's Es-Sider oil port seized by armed protesters demanding more autonomy from the government, the Libyan navy and oil officials said on Wednesday.

The tanker Morning Glory flagged in North Korea approached the port on Tuesday but later left, navy spokesman Ayoub Qassem and officials at state-owned National Oil Corp (NOC) said.

NOC has declared force majeure at the port and warned any tankers of approaching as the Es-Sider terminal is under the control of protesters which have said they might try selling oil bypassing the Tripoli government.

It was not clear immediately clear whether the ship had tried to buy oil from the protesters but any attempt to get crude to world markets independently would be an escalation of their blockade that has slashed Libya's vital oil exports.

(Reporting by Ulf Laessing, Julia Payne and Feras Bosalum, editing by David Evans)