Image courtesy of GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images.

A group of protesters demanding jobs shut down a gas field in Libya on Wednesday just days after striking workers prevented the El Feel field from coming back online.

A spokesman for Libay’s state owned National Oil Company (NOC) told Reuters that protesters closed down a gas field in the eastern part of the country and are threatening to shutdown the Sahel field during the next two days.

The two fields produce a combined 150 million cubic feet of gas per day.

The protesters have also blocked the entrance way to the headquarters of state owned Sirte Oil at the port of Brega.

“They demand 2,000 jobs though previously we already hired 20,000. This will impact electricity production in eastern and central regions,” the NOC spokesman told Reuters.

A separate group of state oil security workers are threatening to close the Wafa oil and gas field and cut off gas exports to Italy if the NOC doesn’t create 150 new jobs at the troubled El Feel oil field.

The guards, who are aligned with anti-Gaddafi rebels, shutdown El Feel last week and have said they will not allow the field to reopen unless the jobs are added.

The El Feel and Wafa fields are both operated by Italy’s Eni and Libya’s NOC.

The shutdowns are expected to exacerbate power shortages as the country reels from multiple attacks on petroleum fields and export terminals.

Libya has been struggling with field shut ins and power outages since dictator Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown in 2011 as two rival governments fight for control of the oil rich country.

The clashes have sent Libya’s exports crashing down to about 500,000 barrels per day from a high of 1.6 billion barrels per day before the fighting began.

The NOC declared a force majeure in March for 11 fields that are now non-operational following attacks by suspected members of Islamic State.


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