Kufra, 13 November 2014:
Locals desperate for work have used a mound of sand to block access to the main facility . . .[restrict]at an oil field that has not actually been in production since August 2013.
Some 1,100 protestors from the Al-Wahat area are demanding jobs at the Abu Attifel field near Jalu.
It is unclear if they include workers laid off when the field was shut in after Cyrenaican separatists under Ibrahim Jadhran closed down the Zuetina export terminal, to which the Abu Attifel field normally pumps its output.
Though the terminal has now reopened, production at this field, which in 2011 averaged 70,000 b/d, has not restarted. The field is operated and part-owned by Italian oil company ENI.
It is understood that the protestors have turned down approaches from members of the House of Representatives wanting to discuss their demands.
A leading activist, Saleh Mohammed Ali told the Libya Herald that the jobseekers wanted to talk directly to the National Oil Company .
“The problem has not resolved yet” he said, “We gave the names of the job seekers to the National Oil Corporation NOC’s representatives. We are waiting for their reply”.
However, the NOC is saying that they will not negotiate with the protestors. Spokesman Mohammed Al-Harari has said that talks are not part of their remit. NOC represented only the executive and commercial side of Libyan oil production. Negotiations, he said, were the government’s job.
Though the Abu Attifel field has not produced a drop of oil for over 15 months, its small airstrip and administrative offices have continued to function.