March 13, 2018 / 4:14 PM / 4 days ago

Libya's Zawiya oil port loadings resume after strike ends: sources

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libya’s Zawiya oil terminal returned to normal operations on Tuesday after workers who were blocking ships from docking agreed to end a one-day strike, two sources said.

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

Zawiya exports crude from Libya’s giant El Sharara oilfield, which produces 300,000 barrels per day (bpd), more than a quarter of the North African country’s output.

Production at El Sharara had not been affected by the strike at Zawiya, an engineer at the field said. The field is operated by Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) in partnership with Repsol, Total, OMV and Statoil.

“A deal has been reached between the strikers and the company and the loadings have resumed,” said a local oil source, asking not to be identified.

The Seagrace, which had been due to load on Tuesday morning, would berth at Zawiya soon, a local shipping source said. The tanker was chartered by Russia’s Rosneft, according to Reuters tracking data.

The strike at Zawiya began on Monday. The oil source said that only some workers were involved and that they had been pushing to get cash payments amid a liquidity crisis that has affected banks across Libya in recent years.

On Tuesday morning a website that posts news from Azzawiya Oil Refining Company said all loading operations had been stopped “by operators demanding an improvement of the situation in general”.

It was not clear how the dispute had been resolved, but oil sources had said on Monday that there were negotiations with striking workers.

Reporting by Ahmed Elumami and Ahmad Ghaddar; Writing by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Jason Neely and Susan Fenton

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