Reopening of the Libyan ports Ras Lanuf and Es Sider that were blocked for about a year by federalist rebels, along with the restart of crude oil transport will see a spike in Mediterranean Aframax freight rates, according to Platts.
The first cargoes have already been shipped from the two ports and more crude is being prepared for loading.
However, shipowners have shown some reluctance to call at Libyan ports as security tensions are still cooling off. Others have voiced loading concerns, resulting in demands for a premium for the freight rates for loading in ports in Libya typically for 20 points over other voyages at the moment, Platts said.
What is more, as explained by the West’s energy watchdog International Energy Agency in its monthly report, “the Atlantic market is currently so well supplied that incremental Libyan barrels are reportedly having a hard time finding buyers.”
The first shipment of crude oil was loaded aboard an oil tanker Gemini Sun, chartered by Austrian energy group OMV and departed Libya’s Ras Lanuf oil terminal on Tuesday August 12.
Once the outstanding cargo from the ports is cleared out, the production in the country’s oil fields is expected to resume to full speed.
According to data provided by Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC), the current national production of oil is around 450,000 barrels per day, however; exports are expected to be doubled this month.
World Maritime News Staff