The National Oil Corporation stated that the Sharara oil field has resumed production after protesters ended a sit-in that halted production since early this month, January 2024.
With its production capacity of 300,000 barrels per day, the Sharara field is considered one of the largest fields in Libya, but it is also a frequent target of local political protests. The field has been closed since January 3, 2024, following a sit-in by protesters from the Fezzan region in southern Libya.
The Sharara field is located in the Murzuq Basin in southeastern Libya, and is managed by the National Oil Corporation through the Akakus company, with the Spanish companies Repsol, the French Total, the Austrian OMV, and the Norwegian Equinor.
The head of the National Oil Corporation had met with the protesters in the east and agreed to their demands, including the decision of the Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord, Abdul Hamid Dabaiba, to transfer the Akakus company to the southern region.
The protesters said that their demands also include implementing the South Refinery project and increasing the share of diesel supplies to southern Libya from 1.5 to 2.5 million liters per day.
The protesters announced the end of their sit-in after the head of the National Oil Corporation pledged to them to meet all demands, with a guarantee from Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army (Eastern Libyan Forces).
The South Refinery contract was signed in March 2023 between Zallaf Company, a subsidiary of the National Oil Corporation, and the US-based Hanwell Engineering Company.
The company expects that the cost of the refinery will range between 500 and 600 million dollars. The refinery will produce quantities of cooking gas, jet fuel, and other products including gasoline and diesel.
Oil production in Libya was repeatedly disrupted by political turmoil in the decade that followed the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled President Muammar Gaddafi.