* Map: link.reuters.com/beg36v
(Adds comments from union)
TRIPOLI Feb 12 Protesters have shut gas and oil
pipelines from Libya's Wafa oilfield, and are threatening to
block another line from El Sharara field, an oil workers' union
and the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Wednesday.
Munier Abu Assoude, head of the oil worker union at Mellitah
port complex that is fed by Wafa said Wafa was still open but
pipelines to the field were shut. Al-Wafa produces normally
around 30,000 barrels per day (bpd) of very light oil
"Both pipelines has been closed, production in al-Wafa field
will be stopped if the protesters do not open the pipeline," he
He did not disclose the demands of the protesters, but
another official at Mellitah said the shutdown was in protest
over the decision by the country's interim congress to extend
its mandate beyond the end of its initial term limit.
Protesters also threatened to close a pipeline from El
Sharara field in the south, an NOC spokesman said. Negotiations
with protesters were ongoing, he said, and the field was still
operating at 301,000 bpd.
Losing production El Sharara, which usually produces around
340,000 bpd would be a major blow to Prime Minister Ali Zeidan's
government as it tries to end six months of export disruptions
in the east of the country.
Armed protesters led by former rebel Ibrahim al-Jathran have
seized three key oil ports in the east since August, cutting off
around 600,000 barrels per day of export capacity, to demand
more regional autonomy.
Oil strikes and pipeline shutdowns by tribes, former rebels
and armed protesters are a major challenge for Libya's fragile
central government as it tries to restore stability nearly three
years after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi.
The fate of the General National Congress is just one of a
range of interlacing political disputes in Libya, where a weak
central government struggles to overcome political deadlock and
the influence of heavily armed former rebels.
(Reporting by Ghaith Shennib and Patrick Markey, editing by