Protests hit Libya's Zueitina oil exports -sources

TRIPOLI Tue Jan 8, 2013 12:44pm EST

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TRIPOLI Jan 8 (Reuters) - Libya's eastern Zueitina oil terminal remains closed, and no crude has been shipped out since the start of January due to local protests that began in December, Libyan and trading sources said.

"There are no exports; there are no shipping activities because oil fields were shut down to avoid any technical problems," a senior Libyan oil source said.

"There are some discussions and negotiations (with protesters) that have taken place and are still continuing."

The source said protestors' threats had affected mainly the shipping of oil rather than gas, because there had been a safe shutdown of the oil fields pumping to the terminal.

He said a crude shipment had left the terminal around the end of December. "There was some oil in the tanks," he said, adding that workers at the terminal were carrying out maintenance.

Traders said the port has been shut in the past week and that no crude was being produced because of the demonstrations. (Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian and Julia Payne; editing by Jane Baird)

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