Benghazi - Commodities trader Glencore has signed its first contract to deliver fuels to Libya’s interim council, industry sources said, in a further sign that rival Vitol is losing its position as top supplier to rebels that are now interim leaders.
“They are supplying products,” said an industry source in Libya familiar with the transaction.
It was not clear when delivery would begin, but a second industry source said the contract was conditional on the lifting of UN sanctions on Libya.
Glencore declined to comment.
Vitol, along with Qatar, was a top supplier for the rebels in east Libya during the first few months of the revolt and while it is still sending fuel, the National Transitional Council (NTC) has diversified its business partners.
Over the past week, Russia’s Gunvor and France’s Total have supplied their first tankers to Libya since the conflict between rebels and forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi began in February. Fuel shortages
Even during peacetime, the North African oil producer relied on imports of fuels such as gasoline because of insufficient refining capacity. Import requirements have surged since the conflict began in February due to refinery outages.
Libya’s NTC badly needs fuels to help relieve strain on its infrastructure and restore order in the country.
Long lines have appeared at petrol stations across eastern parts of Libya over the last week, occasionally resulting in friction between residents in the heavily-armed country.
A spokesperson for the NTC said that some of the $15bn international powers agreed to unfreeze at a conference in Paris last week would be spent on paying for fuel imports.