Libyan officials say country's oil and gas installations are secure
Libyan officials have said that Libyan oil and gas installations are extremely secure and played down any threats of similar attacks such as that happened in Algeria during the last four days.
Security measures were stepped up in Libya on the news that Algeria's remote Ain Amenas natural gas plant was attacked by pro- Al-Qaeda extremists and the hostage drama began unfolding.
The President of the National Congress visited a number of cities in remote areas in Libya including oil fields at Ras Lanuf, Braiga, Al-Wahat and Aagaila and he was accompanied by the a number of ministers including the deputy minister of oil and the chairman top officials of the National Oil Corporation.
On Thursday also, the Petroleum Installations Guard, affiliated with the Defense Ministry, issued a statement saying that it had taken a series of measures to strengthen the security of the oil fields. It said it established a special operations room and sent air military support to the fields.
The security plan, the statement said, is to monitor fields around the o'clock and block any attempts to compromise the security of these installations.
The statement said "security within all fields is fully established and the conditions are completely safe, and there is no record of any violations or attempts and work in all sites is normal.”
Members of Libya's oil protection force cut off their vacations and hurried up in the direction of the southwest of the country where they were stationed in the oil and gas fields.
A large number security personnel at the oil fields came from Jebel Al-Gharabi region (the Western Mountain), especially from the Zintan city who fought Gaddafi forces during the uprising in 2011.
They rushed by land and air to beef up security at the fields of Wafa, Hamada Hamra, Elephant oil field, and the border check points with Algeria of Dabdab, Wan Abdu and Wan Balul in the south.
Asked whether allegations that foreign workers may think of leaving oil and gas fields in Libya after what happened in Algeria, a senior Libyan oil official, who declined to be named, told The Tripoli Post he would not expect that to happen but "even if the few foreign oil workers decided to leave the country, Libyan oil production levels will not be affected."
"When we started reproducing oil and steadily raised production to pre uprising levels there were no foreign workers at the time. All was done by Libyan expertise and hardworking men who succeeded at the time and will succeed again," he added.
"Libyan oil engineers out there at the fields across the Libyan desert never complained about lack of security or any threats because Libyan youth are providing such service across country," the officials said.
The obvious confidence on the part of Libyan oil and security officials is in total contrast to a Western security adviser working in Libya who was quoted by Reuters on Friday as saying he was not sure the security in Libyan oil and gas installation would be "immediately boosted" "since the oil protection force was at an "embryonic stage".
Libya and Algeria are Africa's third and fourth largest oil producers with Libya also the largest oil reserves holder on the continent.