Libya's Sharara oil field reopens after strike: National Oil Corp

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libya’s major Sharara oil field has reopened after a workers’ protest and should return to normal production within three days, the National Oil Corporation said in a statement early on Friday.

Sharara had been producing nearly 270,000 barrels per day (bpd) before employees went on strike on Wednesday over a lack of medical treatment for a colleague who died in a swimming pool accident at the field.

The announcement that production was restarting at Sharara followed an emergency meeting of the NOC board and Sharara’s operating company, in which NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla ordered a review of ambulance services and an upgrading of medical provisions for employees, according to an earlier NOC statement.

He also met municipal and medical officials as well as civil society activists from the nearby city of Ubari, the NOC said.

Sharara was producing nearly a third of Libya’s national output of 835,000 bpd earlier this week.

The southwestern field reopened in December after a two-year pipeline blockade was lifted, but there have been temporary shutdowns several times since then because of local protests.

The field is operated by the NOC in partnership with Repsol, Total, OMV and Statoil.

Libya is trying to boost production to 1.25 million bpd before the end of the year. The OPEC member produced more than 1.6 million bpd before Libya’s 2011 revolution, but since then output has been crippled by protests, political divisions and armed conflict.

Reporting by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Leslie Adler