Unaccounted Barrels Out of Libya

Published in Discoveries. ∼ Updated Jul 1, 2020

Four days ago on August 4th, 2018, the Suezmax tanker called NELL JACOB arrived from Nansha, China to the Libyan anchorage of Mellitah at four o’clock in the morning to pick up crude oil from the Mellitah oil gas processing plant. It seems that whatever happened at the point resulted in NELL JACOB sailing with a very little amount of to the StS area east of Malta the following day.

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When we review the 24 hour change in crude oil storage at the processing plant in Mellitah, we see a draw in the lower of two tanks in the animation below while the other one north of it is being filled from the oil fields further south of the country.

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So, a very quick recap so far: NELL JACOB departed Mellitah with an unspecified amount of oil that wasn’t documented in the AIS records.

Instead, she rendezvoused at 36.06N, 14.96E on August 6th for 5 hours with another tanker called MINERVA CORALIA, which we recognized from our tracking as on July 29^th^, she departed Mellitah with 543,320 barrels of crude oil for the StS area east of Malta.

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Satellites image captured by Planet Labs. StS image has been enhanced due to the weather. When we checked the NELL JACOB today, she was showing 707,601 barrels aboard, meaning that there is a discrepancy of 164,281 barrels. These barrels simply slipped under the exports radar.

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