Libyan oil production this month fell below 400,000 barrels per day—from 1.65 million bpd a year ago—as striking workers shut down export terminals. The Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) appealed to the Defense Ministry for military reinforcements after clashes at the Zueitina oil port Aug. 20. PFG chief Edris Abokhamada claimed that armed protesters at the facility "fired on civilians" after being asked to leave—apparently with no injuries. Clashes were also reported at the Brega terminal, and the Es Sider facility remains shut by worker occupations. The terminals are run by a partnership between Libya's National Oil Corporation and majors Occidental Petroleum and Austria's OMV.
On Aug. 19, Libya's coast guard stopped a tanker from "illegally entering" the Es Sider terminal, amid accusations armed gangs are trying to market oil outside government control. According to Libyan oil officials, the vessel didn't have any authorization to load from the port, which exports oil from concessions run by Libya's NOC with Marathon Oil, ConocoPhillips and Hess Corp. Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has accused the striking guards at the terminals of trying to illegally market stored oil under their control. Global prices this week jumped above $110 a barrel in response to the loss of Libyan exports and unrest in Egypt. (Gulf Times, Aug. 21; WSJ, AFP, Libya Herald, Al Bawaba, Aug. 20; AP, Aug. 15; Libya Herald, Aug. 12)
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