Libya PM threatens force against guards striking at oil ports

16082013
The Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has threatened to use force against guards who have been protesting at some of the country’s oil ports for several weeks. Mr Zeidan accused the guards of trying to sell oil outside official channels. He said any ship approaching the ports which does not have a contract with Libya’s official oil company would be bombed from the sea or the air.
Officials say the protests have caused a drop in Libya’s oil exports and are harming the economy. Mr Zeidan warned if the blockade of these oil terminals continues, the state will be obliged to use its power and all the forces at its disposal including the army.
He said that the ports of Zeitunia, Brega, Ras Lanouf and Sedra had been closed by the protesters’ action.
Oil Minister Abdelbari al-Arusi said that Libya had lost around 1.6 billion dollars in revenue since 25 July due to the disruption. Libya’s oil production has fallen from a peak of 1.6 million barrels per day to around 650,000, the lowest level since the uprising that ousted Col. Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

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