Libyan oil port shut down by protesting guards
Protesters in Libya have shut down the eastern Libyan oil port Brega, days after the government celebrated the reopening of major ports after almost a year of blockage.
A spokesman for the state-owned National Oil Corp (NOC), Mohammed al-Harari, announced on Saturday that the state-run Sirte Oil Co. would have to shut down its production of 43,000 barrels per day (bpd) if the protest by state oil guards continued.
The spokesman, however, did not mention how long the facility may remain closed.
Harari further said that he was not aware what the demands of the guards were.
He went on to explain that Brega port was used to export oil but recently had been largely used to supply the western Zawiya refinery.
The development comes as the government managed to negotiate an end to a protest blocking the 340,000 bpd Sharara field in the southwest last week.
Meanwhile, a rebel group has also agreed to restart the Ras Lanuf and Es Sider ports which they had seized nearly a year ago.
In early July, Libyan rebels reached a deal to reopen two eastern terminals, called Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, which handle nearly half the country's normal oil exports, pushing crude prices lower on the world market.
Libya's government has tried to co-opt the militants by integrating them into state forces such as the oil guards. However, they often seize oil facilities they are supposed to protect to press for their political and financial demands.