By Ahmed Elumami.
The Amazigh protest at the Mellitah Complex has forced the National Oil Corporation (NOC) to reduce the . . .[restrict]production of crude oil from Al-Fil (Elephant) and Baher Al-Salam Oil and Gas Fields.
“Al-Fil production has been reduced to 18,000 barrels per a day (bpd) from the normal daily production of 130,000 bpd, and Baher Al-Salam has been reduced to 37,000 bpd” NOC Spokesman Mohamed Al-Hrari told the Libya Herald.
Al-Hrari said that the main reason for the reduced production is because of the lack of storage capacity at the Mellitah complex.
However, if the Amazigh continue with their protest at Mellitah for 4 to 5 days, Al-Hrari continued, the NOC will be forced to shut down fields.
He added that the NOC can cover local gas and oil needs at the present time, but that the continuation of the protest would have an impact further on.
Two weeks ago, a group of Amazighs prevented oil tankers from reaching the Mellitah Complex, demanding more than the two seats they have been allocated in the 60-member Constitutional Drafting Committee. They are also protesting in order to have their Tamazigh language enshrined in the forthcoming constitution as an “official language” within Libya.
The widespread blockades of oil facilities all over Libya by groups with various political and labour demands have reduced Libya’s oil production by 60 percent, leading the Prime Minister Ali Zeidan to reveal that Libya will have a budgetary deficit in 2013. He also warned that the government will have difficulties in meeting its budget commitments such as wages. [/restrict]