Protesters close eastern Libyan oil port of Zueitina

An oil refinery in Libya (File photo: AP)

Protesters demanding state jobs have shut down the eastern Libyan oil export port of Zueitina, a port engineer said on Monday.

No more information was immediately available. Libyan oil ports and oilfields regularly have to shut down due to protesters seizing them or armed groups fighting for control of the facilities.

The protesters were complaining they had not been hired by the state as promised by a previous oil minister, said the engineer, asking not to be named. “They closed a pipeline leading to the port,” he said.

Zueitina is one of the few Libyan ports still exporting oil as the largest have closed due to fighting or blocked oilfields connected to them, part of turmoil gripping the North African country four years after the ousting of Muammar Qaddafi.

Zueitina port, located near the main eastern city of Benghazi, has closed several times since 2011 due to protesters demanding jobs or management changes at state oil firms.

Oil production has fallen to less than 500,000 barrels a day, a third of what Libya used to pump in 2010.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 13:55 - GMT 10:55