Libya: oil workers flex muscle

Striking workers at Libya’s Waha Oil firm have agreed to return to work after a company official said the government supports the dismissal of chairman Bashir Elshahab (also rendered Alashhab). Sources in the National Oil Corporation confirmed the decision. Workers went on strike last month to protest against Elshahab, who is accused of being a supporter of ousted dictator Moammar Qaddafi. Waha Oil, Libya’s largest operation with foreign partners, is a joint venture with the US companies ConocoPhillips, Marathon and Amerada Hess. Its oilfields were used as bases by Qaddafi’s fighters, bombed by NATO and then sabotaged by fleeing Qaddafi-loyalist forces. Before the conflict, it pumped nearly half a million barrels of oil per day but it is now producing no crude. The chairman of the Sirte Oil company has already been dismissed and replaced. (Reuters, WSJ, Oct. 14; Reuters, Oct. 2)

See our last posts on Libya and the struggle for the oil.

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