News / Middle East

Libya: Oil Strikes Imperil Public Salaries

FILE - A view of pipelines and a loading berth of the Marsa al Hariga oil port in the city of Tobruk, east of Tripoli, Libya.
FILE - A view of pipelines and a loading berth of the Marsa al Hariga oil port in the city of Tobruk, east of Tripoli, Libya.
Reuters
Strikes at major ports and oilfields and drying up oil exports are undermining Libya's ability to pay public salaries and deter foreign investment, the country's labor minister said on Wednesday.
 
Militias and tribesmen have seized ports and oilfields across Libya to press for political or financial demands, cutting output to around 220,000 bpd from 1.4 million bpd in July. Oil is the main source for the budget and for the funding of food imports.
 
Western powers fear the North African country will slide into instability as the government struggles to rein in militias that helped topple Moammar Gadhafi in 2011 but kept their arms.
 
"There's a huge impact of this strike issue," Labor Minister Mohamed Swalin told a news conference. "Salaries for Libyans are now at risk."
 
The strikes would lead Libya into a "dark tunnel" and deter the return of foreign companies that left during the 2011 uprising.
 
Oil pipelines and production facilities as well as exploration efforts would be also affected should the blockages continue, he said.
 
The government has put pressure on tribal leaders in East Libya to persuade an armed autonomy group to lift the blockage of the Ras Lanuf, Es-Sider and Zueitina ports, previously accounting for 600,000 bpd.
 
But autonomy leader Ibrahim Jathran said at the last minute that talks with Tripoli to gain a greater share of oil revenue for the east had failed.
 
There has also been no progress toward reopening Hariga port in the far east, despite an announcement by a local oil official last week that the terminal would resume exports within days.
 
In another conflict, members of the petroleum protection force threatening to block a gas pipeline from eastern Libya to Tripoli said they would give the government another day to meet their salary demands.
 
The protesters had said on Sunday they would halt gas flows by Tuesday but a spokesman for them told Reuters they had agreed to extend the deadline until Thursday as tribal leaders wanted to meet them.
 
A blockage would worsen power supplies, the state power company said in a statement. Outages have hit Tripoli and other major cities for weeks.
 
Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has said the government will act against the oil strikes but its nascent army, still in training, is too weak to tackle heavily armed protesters, analysts say.

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid