Libya has seen the first exports from its key oil port of Ras Lanuf in a year following last month’s handover of the port to the National Oil Company after a deal with rebels, reports said.
Zodiac Maritime’s Gemini Sun Aframax tanker left the port on Tuesday evening on a charter with OMV carrying 670,000 barrels of crude, a spokesman for NOC was quoted by Dow Jones Newswires as saying.
A second shipment from Libya's third largest port is expected in the coming days, the spokesman said.
OMV indicated on Tuesday that the cargo was being loaded bound for the Burghausen refinery in Germany, with the Austrian explorer having now restored a quarter of pre-war production in Libya at 8000 barrels per day.
Ras Lanuf, which has the capacity to load 220,000 barrels a day, was occupied by armed rebels in August last year, and was only handed back to NOC last month.
The oil shipment is a boost to the country's beleaguered central government, which is struggling to contain clashes between rival militant groups around the capital Tripoli and in the east.
Libya used to produce almost 1.6 million bpd before the downfall of former leader Moammar Gadhafi. It currently pumps around 450,000 barrels of crude oil a day.