Blacklisted Libya oil tanker in limbo

An Indian-flagged oil tanker has been left in limbo after being added to a UN sanctions blacklist for illegally transporting crude oil from Libya.

Diplomats said the Distya Ameya had left eastern Libya on Monday with oil from an unrecognised administration.

UN sanctions ban oil revenues to entities in Libya other than the new unity government.

Port authorities in any destination country are now obliged to impound the tanker on arrival.

The Distya Ameya was said to have been heading to Malta after leaving the eastern Libyan port of Marsa al-Hariga carrying 650,000 barrels of oil.

However, a UN Security Council diplomat said the tanker’s final destination could be the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

UN officials said the sanctions committee had written to the governments of India and the UAE to remind them of the sanctions and seek further information on the shipment.

The committee said in a statement on Wednesday that the ship had been listed for transporting crude oil illicitly exported from Libya, based on information received from the government of Libya.

Libya has been in chaos since the fall of Col Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 and has had two competing administrations since 2014.

A new UN-brokered Government of National Accord (GNA) is trying to restore peace and assert its authority over the country.

The rival government backed by powerful militias has its own national oil company.