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Libyan Oil Guards Protest at Port

By MarEx 2014-05-27 10:25:00

A brigade from Libya's Petroleum Facilities Guard has been protesting at the country's Hariga port to demand salary payments and disrupting operations there, an official from state-run oil company AGOCO said on Tuesday.

The official said the protest was interrupting work at the port, where full storage tanks have forced a stoppage of production at Sarir oilfield and a reduction at Messla oilfield.

"The production of Sarir oilfield is zero because it has been closed as storage at Hariga oil port is full," a spokesman for state-run oil firm AGOCO said.

One crude tanker, Alexia, has already been waiting to load at Hariga port since Thursday last week while another, the Phoenix Beacon, was expected to arrive later on Tuesday to load crude, Reuters AIS Live showed and trading sources said.

The Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) at Hariga has been allied with Ibrahim Jathran, a former rebel commander who defected from the PFG to take over four oil ports last summer to demand more autonomy for his region.

Jathran had agreed to lift his blockade steadily under a deal with the government. But he has since said he does not recognize a new government appointed by parliament this month, suggesting the oil deal maybe jeopardized.

A spokesman for Jathran declined to comment on the Hariga port protest and would not confirm his movement was involved in any action there.

The port shutout by Jathran's armed fighters and other protests have cut Libya's output to 160,000 barrels per day from 1.4 million bpd the OPEC country was producing before the strikes and blockades began.

Copyright Reuters 2014.