Libya’s oil out­put dis­rupted by se­cu­rity threats, shut port

Muscat Daily - - BUSINESS -

Cairo, Egypt - Libya’s big­gest oil field has re­duced crude pro­duc­tion by more than 30 per cent in re­cent days and the Zueitina ex­port ter­mi­nal ceased load­ings over the week­end, throw­ing the OPEC coun­try’s out­put back on a down­ward spi­ral.

Out­put at the Sharara field was down to 200,000 bar­rels a day on Sun­day, com­pared with 300,000 bar­rels a day about a week ago, a per­son fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter said on Sun­day, ask­ing not to be iden­ti­fied. Work­ers were be­ing kept from cer­tain ar­eas for their own safety af­ter two com­pany ve­hi­cles were stolen at gun­point, the per­son said. Zueitina port ceased load­ing on Satur­day af­ter em­ploy­ees de­manded bet­ter work­ing con­di­tions, ac­cord­ing to Merhi Abri­dan, head of the worker’s union.

The coun­try’s crude pro­duc­tion may be fur­ther ham­pered by the port halt. Zueitina is the ex­port ter­mi­nal of Zueitina Oil Co, a joint ven­ture be­tween Libya’s state-run Na­tional Oil Corp (NOC), Oc­ci­den­tal Pe­tro­leum Corp and Vi­enna-based OMV AG, ac­cord­ing to its web­site. Zueitina ex­ports an av­er­age of six crude car­goes a month, each 600,000 to 630,000 bar­rels, ac­cord­ing to Abri­dan.

Em­ploy­ees are de­mand­ing that Zueitina Oil and NOC pay 20 months of de­layed salary, Abri­dan said by phone on Satur­day. Work­ers will not re­ceive a tanker due to ar­rive at the port on Au­gust 19 if their de­mands aren’t met, he said.

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