Protests shut down Libya’s Sharara oilfield – engineers

(Reuters) -Local protests have forced a full shutdown of production at Libya’s Sharara oilfield, which can produce up to 300,000 barrels per day, two engineers told Reuters on Wednesday.

A video circulating on the internet showed a number of local protesters from Fezzan region in southern Libya announcing the closure of the Sharara field until their demands are met.

Libya’s National Oil Company (NOC) did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

An engineer had earlier told Reuters a partial reduction in production had taken place and said that protesters were in front of the gate of the oilfield.

One protester told Reuters by phone that the region was “in need of developing projects and services, such as a refinery for fuel supply, paved roads, a clinic and providing jobs for young people”.

The Sharara field, one of Libya’s largest, has been a frequent target for local and broader political protests.

The field is located in the Murzuq basin in the southeast of Libya. It is run by state oil firm NOC via the Acacus company, with Spain’s Repsol, France’s Total, Austria’s OMV, and Norway’s Equinor.

In July, production at the Sharara, Elfeel and 108 fields was stopped by tribal protesters over the abduction of a former finance minister.

Libya’s oil output has been disrupted repeatedly in the chaotic decade since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising against Muammar Gaddafi.

(Reporting by Ayman Werfalli in BenghaziWriting by Maha El Dahan and Ahmed Elumami Editing by Louise Heavens and Mark Potter)