Now At least one person has been wounded after clashes erupted between striking security guards and oil workers at Libya’s largest crude terminal.
The incident happened on Tuesday at Libya’s Zueitina oil terminal, located some 870 kilometers (540 miles) east of the capital, Tripoli.
The head of Libya’s Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG), Edris Abokhamada, said he had contacted the Defense Ministry, calling for reinforcements to stop the clashes at the oil port, which has remained closed since July.
Protesting oil workers and striking security guards at the Zueitina oil terminal have blocked the country’s major ports since late July, causing the closure of many Libyan oil fields.
The Libyan government accuses the strikers of attempting to sell crude oil on their own account.
On August 19, Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan warned of using military force against security guards at the country’s main ports if they sell crude oil independently.
The conflict has led to dramatic cuts in Libya’s oil exports and production.
Libyan Oil Minister Abdelbari al-Arusi said the country has lost USD 1.6 billion in oil sales since July 25, spurned by the closure of all ports except for Zawiya in the west.
Production and exports have reached their lowest levels since the fall of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
The shortfall from Libya has been a major factor in pushing up world oil prices, with a four-month high of around USD 111 a barrel.