Libya Oil Output to Fall Further as Worker Protests Spread
TRIPOLI, Aug 8 (Reuters) – Libyan oil production is set to drop further as workers at the country's Arabian Gulf Oil Company (AGOCO) plan to progressively reduce output in protest over management changes and the company's structure.
"Union members met today in the fields of Mesla, Nafoora, Sarir and Hamada, and they decided to cut production in these fields at a rate of 10,000 barrels per day (bpd) until (the government) responds to their demands," Saad Denar, vice president of the federation of oil workers, told Reuters.
The union wants the firm to keep its current chairman and to separate AGOCO from the state-controlled National Oil Corporation (NOC).
The NOC subsidiary can produce up to 425,000 bpd, with the crude exported via Marsa el Hariga port. It is also used to feed the 220,000 bpd Ras Lanuf refinery, although workers at the country's largest refinery are already on strike.
The decrease would be another blow to government efforts to return exports to normal following the closure of the major Es Sider and Ras Lanuf oil terminals due to strikes at the end of July.
The recent export disruption is among the worst in the last year, with shipments down to about 425,000 bpd from earlier levels of more than 1 million bpd.
Other key oilfields, producing light sweet Es Sider, Amna and Sirtica, were shut on Tuesday due to full storage tanks.
(Reporting by Feras Bosalum; Writing by Julia Payne; Editing by Joseph Radford)
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