According to the oil industry news agency Petroleum Economist, Libyan rebells have attacked and seized the tanker ‘Cartagena’ near Malta yesterday and are now about to arrive at the rebel’s stronghold of Benghazi with the vessel.
Apparently the National Transitional Council has been unaware of the operation which – according to unconfirmed reports – involved boarding the tanker from helicopters. Petroleum Economist writes, that “a European government has provided logistical support for the action”, but was unable to name the source of the information.
The Libyan-flag ‘Cartagena’ is 182 meters long and carries 40,000 tons of fuel destined for Tripoli. The vessel was left stranded in the Mediterranean after NATO blocked all access to Libyan ports in May. It was achored off Malta for some time then made for Algerian waters before heading back to Malta again to top off its bunkers.
(Sources: Petroleum Economist; 4 August 2011)