Union of oil workers call for security force ‘from all Libyan regions’

Libyan oil fields need a new professional guarding force that can “really protect” the petroleum facilities and their workers, head of the Union of Oil and Gas Workers Saad al-Fakhri told 218News Friday.

The existing Petroleum Facilities Guard threaten workers and sometimes abduct employees, he claimed, calling for the establishment of a new guarding force representing all regions of Libya.

Fakhry expressed his concern that previous incidents may be repeated if the current forces returned to secure oil fields, namely el-Sharara, Libya’s biggest oil field.

Sharara was closed in December 2018 after tribesmen seized the field to voice financial demands.

The Chairperson of the Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC), Mustafa Sanallah, has refused to reopen the oil field, saying the armed group that forced workers out was still in control of the place.

Sanallah added in a video posted earlier that the NOC is not going to lift force majeure on Sharara oil field as the reasons for it were still standing.

“Sharara oil field is still closed as the people, the armed militia and some other military fighters are still inside it. We have taken legal actions against all of the people involved in this chaos and a lawsuit is going to be lodged at the office of the Public Prosecutor against them,” Sanallah explained.

The head of Akakus Oil Operation’s workers union, Rabi Ghaith, said the employees were waiting for a decision from NOC to resume work, and demanded the organization to secure the workers’ trips to the field.

Ghaith added that the expected production rate of the field after the resumption of operation will be 70,000 barrels per day.

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