Protesters force shutdown at Libyan El Sharara oilfield: sources

FILE PHOTO: A general view of the El Sharara oilfield, Libya December 3, 2014. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny/File Photo

LONDON/BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - Tribesmen staging a protest at Libya’s 315,000 barrels-a-day El Sharara oilfield are forcing workers to shut down production, two Libyan oil officials and a spokesman for the protesters said on Sunday.

There was no immediate comment from Libyan state petroleum company National Oil Corp (NOC).

The company accused security guards on Saturday of having facilitated a protest by tribesmen, describing it as an “occupation” of the field located in Libya’s southern Fezzan region.

The tribesmen call themselves the Fezzan Anger Movement and are demanding more development projects for their community.

Their spokesman Mohamed Maighal said they would allow crude oil already extracted to be put into storage tanks but force production to be stopped.

The field has been repeatedly threatened by tribesmen asking for better health and other state services for poor, desert region. NOC has previously tried to avert such action through talks.

Reporting by Ayman al-Warfalli, Ahmad Ghaddar and Ulf Laessing; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky