Libya's opposition resumes oil exports
A Libyan oil worker (file photo)
Libya's opposition says that it has resumes oil exports suspended by the revolution in the country, noting that a tanker has been loaded with one million barrels of crude for China.
It will be the first cargo of crude to sail from Libya since February 19, after security forces begun a crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.
Rebels in the east of Libya now say they control most of the oil facilities in the world's 12th largest oil exporter. And they have vowed to keep the oil flowing even if leader Muammar Gaddafi clings to power in the capital.
Oil prices have climbed sharply on fears that the unrest in the region could crimp crude supplies.
A refinery of the Libyan National Oil Company in the eastern city of Tobruk, which is now in the hands of the opposition, appears to be functioning normally.
The port at the oil depot in Tobruk reopened over the weekend for the first time since the February 17 uprising. On Monday, one oil tanker loaded with a million barrels of crude oil was bound for China and another was waiting in the harbor.
The second vessel is scheduled to ferry 600,000 barrels of oil out to Italy.
Rajab Sahnoun, the superintendent of the facility, said the tankers are a sign that everything is getting back to normal. And he says the plant will to continue to operate at or near its regular capacity.
“We can continue no problem,” he says. “We have experience. We will supply the oil for everywhere, no problem.”