By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 29 December 2013:
Striking guards have threatened to cut off gas supplies to Tripoli unless they are paid . . .[restrict]in the next 48 hours.
Members of the Petroleum Facilities Guards, who have been blockading eastern oil export terminals for approaching four months, have demanded that their outstanding wages be paid by the government or they will block the 670-kilometre Brega-Khoms Intisar gas pipeline.
The PFG units that have reduced oil exports to a trickle and by some estimates, already cost the country some $10 billion, are acting in support of Ibrahim Jadhran, leader of the federalist, self-styled Political Bureau of Cyrenaica.
One close observer of the stand-off said this evening: “It is ironic that they do not recognise the government in Tripoli, yet they still insist it pays their wages!”
It is also unclear how big a threat the closure of the east-west gas pipeline would be. Its principal purpose is to take fuel to two electricity-generation plants at Zueitina and Ajdabiya, which between them have a designed capacity of 750 megawatts. While the loss of this output might put pressure on the western part of the national grid, the gas for the Ruwais power station, which is key to Tripoli, is piped from the Wafa field in the west. This line is no longer interrupted by Amazigh activists, in support of stronger minority representation on the constitution-drafting 60 Committee. [/restrict]