Seized tanker Morning Glory breaks Libyan naval blockade

By Vessels

The seized by the Libyan authorities North Korean-flagged tanker Morning Glory, loaded with crude oil from a rebel-controlled port surprisingly was reported gone. The vessel was reported to have broken through the naval blockade and then escaped. There is information that bad weather forced the Libyan naval fleet to find a safer place and this allowed Morning Glory to run off to a safe distance needed to escape from a possible pursuit. There are rumors that the North Korean-flagged vessel was damaged by Libyan warships that opened fire, but this information has not been confirmed.  

The Morning Glory was seized after loading at least 234,000 barrels of crude at the port of al-Sidra controlled by the rebels. Information for the escape of the tanker came as surprise, but government officials confirmed the incident. Morning Glory was seized due to illegal loading of crude oil from rebel-controlled ports. The separatists denied the information from a Libyan minister conserning the tanker. The Prime Minister of Libya, Ali Zeidan warned for a possible air strike over the port in order the vessel to be stopped.

Morning Glory is the first known vessel that successfully shipped oil of a non-government controlled port since July 2013. After receiving information about the escape of the North Korean-flagged tanker, Libya’s parliament voted Zeidan out of office. The current position of Morning Glory is not known in the moment, the last AIS signal received from the ship date from March 1, 2014. Libya officials consider this oil as stolen. When the tanker was detected 4 days ago in Libya, the Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC) announced that the loading operation is illegal.

The company informed:

"NOC will pursue all of its remedies to preserve and enforce its rights over the cargo and to hold responsible all the parties participating in illicit transactions relating to it in any jurisdiction, both within and outside of Libya."

Who owns the tanker Morning Glory? It is curious that this information is not known. A month ago, the vessel had changed its flag state, the last known name of the Morning Glory was Gulf Glory and the tanker was operated in the past by Fal Shipping of the UAE.