Amidst ongoing social demands, protests continue in southern Libya, resulting in the closure of two oil fields in the Ubari region. Libya, a major oil producer with a daily output of 1.9 million barrels, sees 300,000 barrels coming from the al-Sharara field, one of the country’s largest, while the remainder is sourced from the el-Feel field. This protest not only underscores social grievances but also reflects political divisions between the two parallel authorities vying for power in the country.
The protesters, blocking the oil fields, demand the construction of a hospital in Ubari, job opportunities for young professionals in the oil sector, the establishment of a refinery dedicated to Fezzan to address chronic shortages of gas and gasoline, and the rehabilitation of infrastructure. Abou Bakr Abou Setta, the president of the Fezzan gathering, states, “This is the only card we have to exert pressure on Tripoli to access our rights.”
Unfazed, the Dbeibah government has called for a “return to reason” and cautioned against involving oil production in such issues.
It’s worth noting that this development occurs amid disagreement within Libyan institutions over a deal unilaterally signed by Dbeibah, a prime minister whose mandate expired over a year ago, and an international consortium. The objective is to advance hydrocarbon research in the Hamada fields near Tripoli. However, this decision is contested by the Parliament and the High Council of State, who view the contract as suspicious and aimed at assisting Dbeibah in retaining power.