Tripoli, . . .[restrict]31 January 2013:
There have been petrol queues at filling stations in Tripoli for the past 48 hours, with panic buying on rumours that production had been shut down by strikes at Ras Lanouf and Brega. Despite the arrival of road tankers to replenish forecourt storage tanks in the capital and the fact that most of Tripoli’s petrol comes from the Zawia refinery, it was reported that some motorists were filling their vehicles, syphoning the fuel into cans at home and returning to garages to fill up again.
The rumour that the Brega refinery had been blockaded by members of the Tobruk Brigade was denied by both the Oil Minister Abdulbari Al-Arusi and Congressman Saad Ben Sharrada, from Sidra. The facility had been shut down briefly, said Sharrada, because of an electrical fault, but production had quickly been restored.
At Ras Lanouf, the situation remains unclear. After a shutdown of several days, apparently because of technical problems, Libya’s largest refinery, with a capacity of 200,000 b/d was reportedly hit by a strike. The principle demand from the workers is that their salaries should be raised to the level of foreign staff and that the increase should be backdated.
The Libya Herald was told today, Thursday, by an oil analyst that the management had been negotiating with the the strikers for the last two days. It was not possible to contact the Ministry of Oil. [/restrict]