By Reem Tombokti.
Tripoli, 7 July 2013:
The gates to the country’s largest oil export terminal have remained shut for the third consecutive . . .[restrict]day today, threatening the productivity of Libya’s oil industry.
Oil field guards entered the port on Friday and ordered everyone to stop working, an employee at Es Sedra told the Libya Herald. He said that the exact reasons for the takeover remained unclear, but it appeared to be a combination of a dispute over salaries and dissatisfaction with management.
Today there have been reports that exports at the Ras Lanuf oil terminal have also been disrupted by armed groups.
“This is sending a very negative message to buyers,” said the employee, speaking on condition of anonymity. The closure was also affecting ships stuck in the port, he added, saying the Libyan government was having to pay compensation in excess of $25,000 a day to each stranded vessel.
“If this continues for a long time, the oil fields themselves could stop working because, once the tanks are full, there is no extra storage capacity,” he said. This would not only affect oil field management, but could also have a serious knock-on effect on the rest of the country, he added.
The employee said that workers in the country’s oil ports and fields were afraid because there was no sense of proper security. [/restrict]