Libyan protesters shut down Raguba oilfield

Libyan protesters shut down on Wednesday the eastern Raguba oilfield which had 5,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude production feeding Brega port, said a spokesman for the owner, state-run Sirte Oil.

The protesters had been threatening to shut down oilfields and pipelines passing through their remote home region of Marada unless authorities improve state services.

Raguba oil field located in the central part of Libya’s Sirte Basin

The Sirte Oil company, part of state oil firm NOC, had been producing 61,000 bpd until its closure this morning, the spokesman said.

Marada is also home to a pipeline of the Waha oil company, a NOC joint-venture with foreign firms, feeding the Es Sider port. Waha pumps around 260,000 bpd, officials have said.

In a statement, a group of youths said they will shut down oil production in their area unless authorities urgently looked into their grievances of an absent state, lack of health care and other services, and Marada town’s lack of road links to other communities.

Libyans on the protest

Some youth had also demanded jobs, officials have said, a common refrain in Libya, which has been in turmoil since the toppling of leader Muammar Qadhafi in 2011.

Armed men have twice blown up the pipeline near Marada since December as security in the remote eastern area is volatile.

Separately, forces loyal to Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar engaged in fierce clashes around the city of Derna on Tuesday, as two soldiers were killed in a car bomb and another was abducted from a checkpoint elsewhere in the east.

The fighting south-west of Derna was the most intense since Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) stepped up its campaign to take control of Derna, said Milad Al Zwai, spokesman for the LNA’s special forces.

Raguba oilfield at Sirte Basin

One commander was killed and two soldiers wounded, he said.

Haftar announced he would “liberate” the city early this month.

According to medical sources and statements, LNA forces have lost about nine men and 14 DMSC members have been killed during recent clashes around Derna.

The car bombing took place south-west of the city of Ajdabiya, while a soldier was abducted from a checkpoint south of Benghazi, a security source said.

Daesh later claimed responsibility for the car bomb.

Daesh militants had a presence there until government forces expelled them from their main stronghold in Sirte in 2016. 

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