Libya Seizes Oil Tanker, Detains Filipino Crew

A Liberian-flagged oil tanker has been intercepted by members of the Libyan Navy Force near Tunisian waters, according to sources from the naval force.

Authorities also detained 20 Filipino crew members in what Libyan naval forces saw as a smuggling attempt.

Spokesman Atounb Qassam said the navy captured the vessel in the Abu Kammash area off the west coast of Tripoli on allegations that the fuel was being smuggled. All members of the crew have been transferred to Tripoli for further interrogations.

Qassim added that the capacity of the oil tanker is 6 million liters and it is a Greek-owned company tanker. Its grade and original extraction location is still unknown.

Libya has been experiencing a setback in production over the past week as the return of domestic conflict causes two major oilfields to go offline. The Sharara field—Libya’s largest—stopped pumping oil a week ago, after a militant group seized control of the pipeline that feeds crude from it to the Zawiya export terminal, and is still idle as of today.

The National Oil Corporation declared force majeure at the two fields – Hamada and Sharara, and sources said that Al-Feel oilfield had also been shut down.