SHARE

Libyan officials said Monday they are in “complete control” of a North Korean-flagged tanker that loaded crude oil at a port occupied by rebel forces.

The 37,000-tonne Morning Glory was stopped and boarded when it tried to leave Es Sider.

On  Saturday it began loading $36 million of crude oil.

The rebels who occupy the port planned the crude sale independently of the government.

The rebels denied losing control of the tanker, the BBC said.

The Libyan navy on Sunday deployed boats to stop the tanker from leaving the port.

It wasn’t clear where the tanker was stopped.

Rana Jawad, a reporter for the BBC in Tripoli, said “there is a lot of confusion over the fate of the tanker, with the rebels saying it is still docked at the port in Es Sider.”

Rebels in Eastern Libya have demanded a share of oil revenues.

Protests at Libya’s oil fields and three port facilities have reduced the country’s production from 1.4 million bpd in mid-2013 to 230,000 bpd now.

Reuters reported Monday that Libya’s parliament ordered a special force be sent within one week to “liberate” all rebel-held ports in the east.