Protesters in eastern Libya close second oilfield, seize company plane
The oilfield, a joint venture between Italy’s ENI and Libya’s state oil company, has been closed for a year by local people
Protesters blocking Libya’s Abu Attifel oilfield closed another field, blocked a road and seized a company plane, a security official and activist said on Tuesday.
The oilfield, a joint venture between Italy’s ENI and Libya’s state oil company, has been closed for a year by local people who demand jobs, part of a wave of strikes at oil facilities that began in July 2013.
Protests at other oil ports and fields have ended, but the shutdown continues at Abu Attifelt in Jalu, in Libya’s volatile east, where the field lies. In addition to Abue Attifelt, which used to pump 60,000 barrels a day, the protesters have now also closed the nearby Jalo 59 field, operated by al-Waha Oil Co.
That closure lowered Libya’s oil output by 25,000 bpd to 900,000 bpd, a spokesman for state-run National Oil Corp (NOC) said on Sunday.
They also seized a company airplane and closed an airstrip and a land road to Ajdabiya, which is on the coast close to the Zueitina oil port. The port is connected by pipelines to Abu Attifel, a security official and local activist said.
But Zueitina, west of Benghazi, remains closed. Oil workers there are demanding a change of management at the port operator.
The Abu Attifel protesters also stopped fuel trucks bound for the Sarir power plant and kept 65 Egyptian truck drivers from leaving the area, the security official said.
Libya’s oil production had risen to around 900,000 bpd, nine times more than a few months ago as three eastern ports reopened under a deal with a group of rebels who had seized the export terminals to press for regional autonomy.