Libya's Oil and Gas Minister Abdul Bari Laroussi says that a strike at an oil terminal east of Tripoli has caused the country's oil industry to lose more than USD one million per day. On Saturday, the minister said that the workers’ strike at the Zueitina oil terminal is causing a loss of USD 1.3 million each day.
The workers have been on strike since December 23, 2012, forcing the oil terminal to halt its operations.Laroussi said that the shutdown at the terminal has also led to electricity cuts in some parts of western Libya. Several workers of the terminal, including two foreigners, also resigned following the strike. The Minister stressed that the terminal would resume operations after the Libyan government responded to the demands of the workers. Tripoli has not yet made any effort to handle the issue. Laroussi said the workers asked for the employment of 1,500 people who are living in the terminal’s neighboring areas. Oil installations have become a focal point of protests challenging Libya's new government, which is dependent on oil for most of its revenue. At least three oil fields in the Libyan desert supply the Zueitina oil terminal which is located 850 kilometers east of Tripoli. The Zueitina oil port exports roughly 60,000 barrels per day as Libya's oil production stands at 1.6 million barrels per day. SAB/SZH