TRIPOLI, Libya's state-owned National Oil Corporation (NOC) on Saturday warned against the closure of Sharara oil field forced by protesters, saying it will harm economy.
"National Oil Corporation (NOC) condemns the actions of the Al-Sharara oil field Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG), which this morning facilitated a protest at the field and threatened employees to shut down production. NOC and local operator Akakus warn of the devastating consequences of a shutdown, to both the southern region and the wider Libyan economy," NOC said in a statement.
The closure of the oil field would cause a decline in Libya's daily oil output by some 315,000 barrels, while another oil field with a daily output of 73,000 barrels has already been closed. The closure means a daily loss of 32.5 million U.S. dollars, said the statement.
The oil company expressed deep concern about the "behavior of the PFG at Al-Sharara and those individuals and groups exploiting the suffering of southern Libyans for personal reward."
"We strongly condemn this illegal act and warn all parties of the consequence of their actions," said NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla.
A group of protesters, who called themselves "Anger of Fezzan (southern Libyan region)," earlier on Saturday forced the closure of Sharara oil field in southern Libya, demanding better conditions, including rebuilding towns affected by armed conflicts and providing liquidity for local banks in the south that lack funds, local media reported.
The Sharara oil field, some 750 km southwest of the capital Tripoli, is the largest oil field in Libya. It boasts a daily output of 270,000 barrels of crude oil, more than a quarter of Libya's daily oil production.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK