Sources have confirmed that residents of southern Libya forced the shutdown of the El Feel oil field, on Thursday.
This was made in response to the detention of the country’s former Finance Minister, Faraj Boumtari in Tripoli.
The sources underscored the escalating tension in Libya’s south, with angered locals planning to close additional oil fields, potentially exacerbating the current situation.
Under normal operations, the El Feel oil field contributes approximately 125,000 barrels of oil per day to Libya’s output. The current standstill highlights the significance of the protest action.
Security officials took Boumtari into custody at Tripoli’s Mitiga Airport. His arrest occurred amidst buzz about his potential nomination as the Governor of the Central Bank of Libya (CBL). If true, Boumtari would be replacing Siddiq Al-Kabir, marking a shift in the ongoing negotiations between Libya’s Parliament and the High Council of State (HCS). This power transition is part of the broader context of Libya’s challenging political environment, which has seen the nation struggling with stability since the 2011 revolution, and the overthrow of former leader, Muammar Gaddafi.
Southern Libya is characterized by its vast desert landscapes and sparse population. However, the region is also rich in natural resources, including oil. Tensions in the south, reflected by the stoppage of oil production at El Feel and the mounting social unrest, puts a spotlight on the country’s intricate socio-political climate. It also emphasizes the potential for further disruptions to Libya’s vital oil sector.