By Jamal Adel.
Kufra, 8 November 2014:
Petroleum Facilities Guards at Hariga oil port in the east have shut down . . .[restrict]the facility down in protest at unpaid wages.
A senior official at Hariga, who asked not to be named, confirmed to the Libya Herald that the port had been closed as result of overdue salaries and not for political reasons.
“It is expected that some unemployed locals will join the strikers to demand further work,” the official explained. It has happened in the past that the job seekers have linked up striking Petroleum Facilities Guards to further their own demands, as happened at the Abu Tifil oil field in May.
Hariga oil terminal was shut down by striking Petroleum Facilities Guards at the end of May, again over unpaid wages. They reopened the port on 22 June when they were finally paid.
The Hariga official confirmed that the decision by the PFG to strike bore no relation to yesterday’s declaration by the Cyrenaica Political Bureau. The separatist entity, headed by Ibrahim Jadhran, announced that it would break away and form an independent eastern state if the international community recognised the recent ruling by the Supreme Court invalidating the House of Representatives.
Jadhran, the self-appointed head of the eastern autonomy movement, formerly commanded the PFG. The guards were co-opted into the state security apparatus in June when Jadhran agreed to end his own shutdown of crucial eastern oil terminals.
The previous action at Hariga, which is operated by the Arabian Gulf Oil Company (AGOCO), resulted in the complete shut down of production at the Sarir oilfield, as well as a severe decrease in output at the nearby Messla oilfield because the storage tanks at Hariga were full.
The Hariga official said while the terminal was closed, one ship was waiting in port to lift an oil shipment and that the facility would easily return to normal working if the issue was resolved soon.