The National Oil Corporation (NOC) has condemned the “threats” of Fezzan Rage Movement protesters to shut down Libya’s largest oilfield of Sharara, warning of devastating consequences of a production shutdown to both the southern region and the wider Libyan economy.
A group of protesters from Fezzan Rage Movement made their way into the oilfield on Thursday with the help of Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG), demanding better services to the southern region.
The movement demanded support for military and security apparatuses to secure residents' properties and to secure the southern region. It also calls for health sector support, health facilities' preparing services plus contracting new medics and purchasing new medical equipment.
The Rage protesters call also for opening Ubari gas steam plant, reopening all southern airports, bringing cash into southern banks and reopening the Central Bank in the south, in addition to other demands.
The NOC warned that the forced closure of Sharara oilfield would result in a production loss of 315,000 barrels a day, with a knock-on effect of 73,000 barrels at El Feel due to its dependence on Sharara electricity supply.
“A forced shutdown could have long-term logistical consequences that would delay the reopening of the oil field. This, in turn, would lead to the suspension of a number of local oil and sustainable development projects, including the relocation of a southern refinery, designed to alleviate the local fuel supply crisis, and jeopardize local job creation.” The NOC warned in a statement on Sunday.
“Supply to the Zawiya refinery would also be affected. This would equate to a combined daily cost to the Libyan economy of 32.5 million USD. The oilfield at present remains open.” It further warned.
The NOC also deplored the behaviour of guards who facilitated the entry of the protesters to the oilfield demanded the PFG high command to take swift action against those responsible, including the commander of the 30th Infantry Battalion, Ali Mohamed Salah al-Husseini, for dereliction of duty and allowing this crisis to envelop.