Tripoli, 8 August 2013:
Strikes at Libya’s oil fields and ports have this week brought exports of Es Sidra crude to a . . .[restrict]complete standstill, according to a Reuters report.
Es Sidra, Ras Lanuf and Brega oil export terminals are all severely affected by strikes being staged by armed guards over pay and conditions, Oil Minister Abdelbari Arusi said at a press conference earlier in the week. He added that the Herega terminal at Tobruk had also been closed by the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) – part of the Libyan Army – in sympathy with strikers at other oil fields and terminals.
Exports from the Zuetina oil terminal have been suspended since July, first by striking workers and, more recently, by a group claiming they were promised jobs that have not been forthcoming. Just two vessels have been loaded at the terminal since strikes began.
Arusi previously admitted that the strikes had cut Libya’s oil production by 70 percent. However, at a press conference three days ago, he said that, despite the ongoing industrial action, production in the west of the country was almost back to normal, at 700,000 barrels per day (bpd). He added that, after the three days of Eid, he expected this to rise to 800,000 bpd.
Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has warned that the country could incur financial penalties for failing to deliver contracted oil supplies.
The Libya Herald was not able to contact the Oil Ministry for comment. [/restrict]