An armed group has shut down one of Libya’s largest oil fields in the south of the country since yesterday evening.
Al Sharara oil field was pumping over 200,000 barrels of oil before its latest closure.
Militias have frequently subjected Libya’s oil production fields and export terminals to blockades in recent years, but production recovered significantly this summer when it topped one million barrels per day.
This latest blockade of the Sharara oil field is a fresh reminder that the country’s oil production is often at the mercy of armed groups.
It also throws Libya’s recent production boom – which is crucial to state-revenues – into another period of uncertainty.
State-run National Oil Company (NOC) told Reuters news agency that it is “working towards a swift re-start of production,” and that it does not negotiate with what it termed “terrorist blockaders”.
A Libyan oil news Facebook page has published a statement attributed to the armed group which allegedly shut down production.
The statement features a list of demands including salaries, economic development in southern Libya, as well as fuel and cooking gas supplies.