A parallel state oil company based in eastern Libya has ordered a halt to exports arranged by Swiss company Glencore from the port of Hariga, although oil officials said on Thursday the terminal was working normally.
The National Oil Corporation (NOC) in Benghazi, which has repeatedly tried and failed to impose control over oil exports from the NOC in Tripoli, published the order late on Wednesday.
But a spokesman from Arabian Gulf Oil Company (AGOCO), which operates exports of Messla and Sarir crude from Hariga, said it had not received the instruction.
Omran al-Zwai said AGOCO, an NOC subsidiary that produces 250,000 barrels per day (bpd), was operating as usual and a tanker was docked at Hariga. He said between five and eight million barrels are exported monthly from the port.
Since several Arab states severed relations with Qatar last week, officials based in eastern Libya have issued a flurry of statements targeting people and entities with alleged links to the Gulf state or the Muslim Brotherhood.
Glencore, in which Qatar Holding owns a stake, has exclusive rights through the NOC in Tripoli to market oil exported from Hariga.
East Libyan factions, which have rejected a UN-backed government in Tripoli, have received support from Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, two of the countries that cut ties with Qatar, and are aligned with their anti-Islamist stance.
The NOC in Tripoli has warned the eastern government not to use the dispute “as a pretext for exporting oil illegally”.
Previous efforts by east Libyan factions to export oil have been blocked under UN Security Council resolutions that recognise the NOC in Tripoli as the sole legitimate seller of Libyan oil.