June 18, 2024
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Protesters Threaten Oil and Gas Facilities in Libya, Demand Reforms

Protesters in Libya have issued a 72-hour ultimatum, set to end on Friday, threatening to shut down two oil and gas facilities near the capital, Tripoli, Reuters reports.

The Corruption Eradication Movement, campaigning against corruption, issued the ultimatum and demanded the removal of National Oil Corporation (NOC) Chairman Farhat Bengdara, citing alleged violations amounting to the level of crime.

The protesters also called for job opportunities for local youth, environmental protection, and prevention of Bengdara from concluding any oil and gas agreements.

“If the authorities do not respond to our demands, the movement may develop into civil disobedience,” the group’s spokesman Salem Mohamed told Reuters by phone.

One of the targeted facilities is the Mellitah complex, a joint venture between NOC and Italy’s Eni. The Mellitah complex is crucial for the supply of gas through the Greenstream pipeline connecting Libya and Italy. The movement warned of possible civil disobedience if their demands are not met.

The protest highlights ongoing challenges in Libya’s oil sector, a major source of income for the country, which has been a target for various local and national protests since the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The impact of the protest on facility operations remains uncertain. The movement also threatened to close NOC’s Zawiya refinery, the country’s largest functioning refinery, which is connected to the Sharara field. The Sharara field, producing 300,000 barrels per day, had its production halted last week due to protests demanding better services in the Fezzan region.

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