Libya is losing $32.5 million every day as a result of the closure of the El-Sharara oil field, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) warned yesterday.
The NOC condemned security guards who permitted demonstrators to organise protests in the oil field, threatening it with closure.
“A group of so-called ‘civilians’ (30th Light Infantry Battalion) associated to the Petroleum Facilities Guard have physically threatened El-Sharara oil field’s employees to force them to halt operations,” NOC said in a statement reported by Xinhua.
Local production has now continued without interruption thanks to the courage of local staff, the statement added.
The corporation warned on Saturday that the closure of the oil field would cause a decline in Libya’s daily oil output by some 315,000 barrels, while another oil field with a daily output of 73,000 barrels has already been closed.
Xinhua reported that a group of protesters, who called themselves “Anger of Fezzan” in reference to an area in southern Libya forced El-Sharara oil field to close on Saturday.
It also reported local media saying that the protesters demanded towns affected by armed conflict be rebuilt and local banks be supported as they suffer from a lack of funds.
El-Sharara, some 750 kilometres southwest of the capital Tripoli, is the largest oil field in Libya. It boasts a daily output of 270,000 barrels of crude oil, more than a quarter of Libya’s daily oil production.