October 28, 2018 / 5:56 PM / 23 days ago

Tribesmen stage protest at Libyan El Sharara oilfield

BENGHAZI, Libya, Oct 28 (Reuters) - A small group of Libyan tribesmen have staged a protest at the southern El Sharara oilfield, threatening to close down facilities unless their living conditions improved, a video tape showed and oilfield staff said on Sunday.

The protesters demanded better state services such as water and bank liquidity for the southern region known as Fezzan, where living standards have deteriorated over the years due to a lack of security and a break down of the state.

They set a deadline of Nov. 11 for their demands to be met or face a shutdown of Fezzan oil and gas production in general, one protestor said in statement on a video posted online.

A member of the oilfield’s staff and one of the protesters confirmed the protest had taken place on Thursday.

There was no immediate from state oil firm NOC.

The field, in Libya’s remote southwest, has suffered shutdowns caused by security problems in the past, including raids, kidnappings and blockages by tribesmen and state-paid guards. It produces around 300,000 barrels per day (bpd).

In March the field shut briefly after a local landowner closed a valve in protest against pollution near a pipeline crossing his land.

The North African OPEC producer has managed to boost oil production to its highest level since mid-2013 when a wave of blockades and protests by armed groups started, part of Libya’s conflict since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi. (Reporting by Ayman al-Warfalli Writing by Ulf Laessing; editing by David Evans)

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