| TRIPOLI, June 12
TRIPOLI, June 12 Angry motorists in Libya's
capital Tripoli queued to fill up on Thursday, some having slept
in their cars for nights as petrol stations awaited promised
supplies from a state oil firm.
"I have been queuing in front of this gas station for two
days," said one driver in a long line at a petrol station in
central Tripoli. "It is very depressing. My kids have finished
their exams and I want to go out with them but unfortunately we
Libya is in turmoil as the government struggles to control
the militias who helped oust Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 but now
defy state authority and seize oil ports at will.
The North African country has struggled to keep the 120,000
barrel a day Zawiya refinery that supplies western Libya running
after protesters closed the connecting El Sharara field.
State oil firm Brega Petroleum Marketing Company, which is
in charge of delivering fuel to petrol stations, said a lack of
security at some petrol stations where motorists were lining up
made it difficult to deliver supplies.
"We supplied several petrol stations with a large amount of
fuel," said Brega spokesman Fathi al-Hasmi. "Also another tanker
with fuel arrived at Zawiya port, but the security problems
Officials at Zawiya refinery declined to comment, while
state-owned National Oil Corp, Brega's parent firm, could not be
Ordinary Libyans, some taking it in turns with relatives to
keep their place in queues, were getting increasingly fed up.
Waiting motorist Mohamed Abdullah Ajwaid said: "Most of the
gas stations in Tripoli are closed, and we do not know the
On Wednesday, acting oil minister Omar Shakmak said Libya
had started diverting cargoes from its two offshore fields used
for exports, its last two fields unaffected by the wave of
protests at oilfields.
This will further reduce exports, which have fallen to less
than 200,000 barrels per day from 1.4 million bpd when the
protests started in July, eroding public finances.
(Additional reporting by Feras Bosalum; Writing by Ulf
Laessing; Editing by Hugh Lawson)