Thursday, 19 May 2011

Turkey Supplying Fuel to Gaddafi Regime

The Petroleum Economist today reports that Turkey is supplying fuel to the pariah Gaddafi regime. According to the specialist publication, a:

42,000 tonne cargo is thought to have left Turkey last night, a senior source in the rebel government, the Transitional National Council (TNC), told Petroleum Economist on 17 May.

Petroleum Economist confirmed, using AIS ship tracking data, that the destination of the second vessel, Cartagena, is Zawiyah, the sole operating refinery in Qadhafi-held territory.

Although this may be interpreted as an unfriendly gesture, particularly as Turkey is pretending to play a part in the NATO effort, it is not technically a violation of the sanctions in force.

Neither the EU sanctions against specific individuals and companies in the regime, nor UN Resolution 1973, under which Nato is bombing Qadhafi military targets, prohibit the sale of fuel to Libya. Nato may interdict a vessel only if it suspects it to be carrying weapons.

However, the EU is now considering tightening its sanctions to target refined products exported to Libya, according to a government source within the bloc.

Gaddafi is desperate to acquire more fuel so he can continue his war against rebels in the east:

Prices for refined products in western Libya have soared in recent weeks. The flow of fuel from Tunisia to Tripoli has largely ceased after western governments put pressure on the Tunisian authorities.

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