The Address | Benghazi – Libya
TRIPOLI – The Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) announced on Wednesday that Libya’s biggest oilfield, El Sharara, will reopen, after the government’s Prime Minister, Fayez al-Sarraj, flew there to persuade protesters to end a blockage.
Production had not restarted yet as oil workers were waiting for orders from the Tripoli-based National Oil Corporation (NOC). A spokesman for NOC declined to comment on the news. Al-Sarraj’s office gave no time frame.
A group of tribesmen calling themselves the Fezzan Anger Movement and a local unit of the Petroleum Facilities Guards (PFG) had earlier this month announced a shutdown of El Sharara oil field, located in Murzuq Desert southwest of Libya, to press for demands of more development.
A spokesman for the tribesmen said the Tripoli-based government had agreed to implement their demands within a week from Dec 22.
“El Sharara oilfield will be reopened after reaching an agreement with Fayez al-Sarraj,” Mohammed Ahmed said. “Urgent (demands), like liquidity and fuel, will start (being implemented) on Saturday, other demands will be implemented within 45 days”, he said.
The Tripoli-based government had earlier announced a development fund worth 1 billion Libyan dinars ($717 million) for the long-neglected south in a bid to appease the protesters.
The tribesmen had demanded better state services for the south, which produces around 400,000 bpd of day, but lacks basic facilities such as hospitals or electricity.
It was not immediately clear when NOC would agree to reopen the field. Its Chairman Mustafa Sanalla had denounced the protesters as “militia and said NOC would not negotiate with them.