April 12, 2011 / 2:15 PM / 9 years ago

Libya to export crude cargo, rebels get gasoline

LONDON (Reuters) - Trade house Trafigura plans to export a cargo of Libyan oil from the port of Brega and Vitol has shipped a gasoline cargo into rebel-held Benghazi in signs oil trade is reviving despite heavy fighting.

Trafigura has contacted at least two oil firms to offer a Sarir grade crude sourced from eastern Libya and shipped from Brega, trade sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

“Trafigura has offered a Brega-loading cargo....they are looking for a refiner who can run the oil,” said a trader.

A spokesman for Trafigura was unable to give an immediate comment.

Brega was previously rebel-held but has been close to the scene of fighting between rebels and forces loyal to leader Muammar Gaddafi.

If placed, this cargo would be only the second shipment to leave Libya after Vitol shipped a cargo to China last week.

Oil exports were halted from early March due to low field production and as oil firms balked at international sanctions and security challenges.

Trade house Vitol has shipped a cargo of gasoline to the rebel-held port of Benghazi in recent days, shipping sources said on Tuesday, providing rebels with much-needed fuels to continue their war effort.

The cargo was shipped from Malta to Benghazi and the oil tanker was fixed last week, the sources said.

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