Bloomberg News

Oil Tanker Newlead Avra Doesn’t Load in Libya, Owner Says

September 15, 2011

(Updates with indicated cargo in third paragraph.)

Sept. 15 (Bloomberg) -- The oil tanker Newlead Avra, which had been traveling to Mellitah in western Libya, didn’t load a cargo as intended and is now sailing to Cyprus, the vessel’s owner said.

The ship, which has a carrying capacity of 73,400 deadweight tons, was instructed to sail to Limassol, Cyprus, without having collected a cargo, Elisa Gerouki, a Piraeus, Greece-based spokeswoman for NewLead Holdings Ltd., said by e- mail today. The tanker can haul crude or refined-oil products, according to Bureau Veritas Group, which monitors ships’ compliance with laws on seaworthiness.

The company that booked the ship didn’t confirm to NewLead what the cargo would be, having originally indicated it would collect condensate, Gerouki said later by phone.

Condensate that’s produced during oil-extraction is equivalent to extra-light crude, according to James Zhang, an analyst at Standard Bank Plc in London. For the shipping industry, such cargoes can be deemed clean petroleum products provided they contain no residues from crude production, he said.

Libya wants to resume crude exports in two to three weeks, Guma El-Gamaty, the U.K. coordinator for the country’s National Transitional Council, said Sept. 8. Shipments from the nation, holder of Africa’s biggest oil reserves, plunged during a conflict that escalated in February and led to the ousting of Muammar Qaddafi as national leader.

An 80,000 metric-ton cargo of crude was being offered for shipment from Mellitah between Sept. 15 and Sept. 17, three people with direct knowledge of the transaction said Sept. 8.

--Editors: Dan Weeks, Sharon Lindores.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alaric Nightingale in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stuart Wallace at

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