Libya: Protestors shut oilfield over pay row

Libya: Protestors shut oilfield over pay row

Libya’s Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) announced the closure of North Hamada oilfield on February 24th, according to Asharq Al-Awsat and agencies.

A group of armed PFG employees purportedly took control of the facility demanding unpaid salaries and other benefits, having issued the Tripoli-based Government of National Unity (GNU) a previous 48-hour ultimatum.

GNU head, Abdulhamid Dbeibeh, claims to have ordered authorities to submit to the demands, asking them to “consider the situation of the PFG and its members, restore their full rights, and implement the decisions regarding their financial dues.”

PFG members had held several peaceful protests in front of the North Hamada oil field in southern Libya, prior to its closure.

Since the country’s 2011 revolution and subsequent civil war, various groups have used oil revenues as a bargaining chip to bring its administrations into negotiations.

READ: Libya: Protests result in two oil field closures

The PFG claim to be “soldiers to the Libyan people,” highlighting that since the revolution, they had left their jobs and families to “protect the homeland and source of Libyans’ livelihood.”

Fossil fuel is the backbone of Libya’s economy, with the country’s 2023 annual revenue valued at 99.1 billion Libyan dinars ($20.69 bn).

READ: Libya: Oil field closures threaten $20.69 bn annual revenue

The protesters said they had resorted to the measures having grown tired with the authorities failing to meet their demands.

The North Hamada closure follows similar incidents at the Zawiya, Mellitah, and Misrata oil facilities on February 20th, where PFG employees declared closure demanding unpaid salaries and settlements. The facilities were reopened on February 25th, according to The Libya Observer.

Libya’s oil production faces a cycle of partial closure with recurring nation-wide disruptions, due to recent protests.

On January 3rd, protesters also shut down the country’s Sharara oilfield, forcing Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) to declare force majeure, which was lifted upon the January 23rd resumption of production.

Asharq Al-Awsat / The Libya Observer / Agencies


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

[mc4wp_form id="206"]