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Libya's oil guards shut oil fields over pay dispute

February 25, 2024 at 3:32 pm

A picture taken on September 24, 2020 shows the Brega oil port in Marsa Brega, some 270kms west of Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi [AFP via Getty Images]

Libyan forces guarding oil facilities in the country announced on Sunday the closure of oil fields in a dispute over pay, Anadolu Agency reports.

“We will unfortunately close all oil facilities,” the Petroleum Facilities Guards (PFG) said in a video statement aired by broadcaster Libya al-Ahrar.

“If our demands are not met, we will take the damage to the judicial authorities,” it threatened.

The PFG demands a pay raise for its members and the disbursement of bonuses similar to employees of the country’s state-run National Oil Corporation.

On 15 February, the PFG gave a 10-day ultimatum to the Tripoli-based government to fulfil their demands, threatening to shut the country’s oil fields.

There was no comment from the government on the PFG move as of 3.15 p.m. local time (1315GMT).

Libya holds Africa’s largest crude reserves, but years of conflict and violence since the 2011 ouster of ruler Muammar Gaddafi have hobbled production and exports.

READ: Oil India looking at return to Libya