Libyan El Sharara oilfield in shutdown - field engineer

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Libya’s giant El Sharara oilfield has been shut down because of an apparent pipeline blockage, an oilfield engineer and a separate Libyan oil source said on Sunday.

The closure is a major blow to the North African country a little more than a week after the nearby El Feel oilfield was closed by a protest.

Flows from El Sharara in the south of the country were not getting through to the Mediterranean port of Zawiya, the engineer said, adding that the reason was unclear.

A second Libyan oil source said the closure was probably because of pipeline blockage, adding that valve checks were under way.

The El Sharara field has closed several times because of protests by security guards over pay, as well as protests by other groups.

The field has capacity of 340,000 barrels per day (bpd) but an oil source had put output at 308,000 bpd last week. National Oil Corporation (NOC) operates Sharara in partnership with Repsol, Total, OMV and Statoil.

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