Libya Rebels Deny Reports Oil Tanker Was Captured by Navy

Ship's Location Unknown After Leaving Port

The fate of the North Korea-flagged Morning Glory oil tanker, and the $36 million worth of Brent Crude loaded on it, remains shrouded in mystery tonight, as rebels from the port where the oil was loaded denied military claims of having captured the ship.

The navy claimed it had captured the Morning Glory earlier this afternoon and was sending it to Misrata, but there is no indication the ship ever arrived, and now its location is totally unknown.

The ship belongs to a company based in the United Arab Emirates, but they say they lost control of the crew some time ago and have no operational control over the ship anymore. Libya’s Defense Ministry tried to order the Air Force to blow the tanker up, but they refused.

The Obama Administration insists any attempt to buy oil from a Libyan port without Libyan government permission “amounts to theft from the Libyan people” and would expose the buyers to sanctions. Libya’s oil production was 1.6 million barrels a day before the NATO-imposed regime change, and is now just over 200,000.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.