Oil production and exports from Libya’s El Feel field have stalled after protesters gathered in the area and demanded the removal of Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dibiba, according to a source familiar with the matter, according to Bloomberg.
The shutdown of the western field, which produces about 65,000 barrels of crude a day, is the latest in a series of disruptions to the OPEC member’s oil industry amid a worsening political crisis.
Libya’s crude production is averaging just over 1 million barrels per day this year, up from almost 1.2 million in 2021, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The drop costs the country millions of dollars in lost revenue and comes at a time when the world oil market is already tight, with Brent crude prices soaring above $ 110 a barrel after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
El Feel is located near Sarara, Libya’s largest deposit, and its oil is normally shipped from the ports of Zawiya and Melita. It is unclear whether shipments from these terminals, which both have oil in storage, will be reduced.
The holidays come as the North African nation, plunged into conflict since the fall of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, faces a confrontation between rival politicians. Dibiba is resisting calls by some lawmakers to step down after former Interior Minister Fathi Basaga was named prime minister in February.
Earlier this month, representatives of Eastern Governor Khalifa Haftar resigned from a national military commission tasked with ensuring a ceasefire. They also said that Haftar should block oil exports.