Tripoli, 6 May:
The blockade of Libya’s Arabian Gulf Oil Company (Agoco) Benghazi headquarters has now cost Libya over $11 . . .[restrict]million as the company cuts more production.
On Thursday AGOCO cut 20,000 b/d of output from its Sarid and Messla fields in protest at the government’s failure to act against strikers stopping staff from entering its main management complex in the Al-Qish district. On Friday a further 10,000 b/d were cut, bringing daily output down to 340,000 b/d. Around 100 AGOCO employees yesterday mounted a counter demonstration outside the complex, calling on the blockaders to go.
The strikers, some of them armed, have now been disrupting management and logistical operations for a fortnight. Negotiations with them by both AGOCO and civic leaders have failed to persuade them to lift their blockade.
Their demands apparently revolve around greater transparency over government spending, the ouster of Qaddafi-era officials and greater job opportunities for young Libyans. However as the costs to the Libyan economy begin to mount, it would seem that their action is becoming self-defeating.