Libya Oil Guards Set New Salary Deadline as Exports Risk Lingers

Guards protecting Libya’s oil installations gave the country’s government a new deadline to pay overdue salaries at two of the nation’s main crude-export terminals, maintaining a lingering threat to the conflict-ridden country’s shipments just months after they revived.

Guards on strike at Ras Lanuf and Es Sider, the country’s largest and third-largest oil ports, gave the government 10 days from Thursday to pay the salaries, Mansour Latoush, the head of the protection unit of the Petroleum Facilities Guard at the two ports, said. The previous deadline was Jan. 24.

“The operations at the port were going as normal since the guards announced the strike,” Latoush said, adding that recent disruptions have been weather-related.

The PFG will allow shipments from both facilities to continue until the deadline passes, but Latoush didn’t elaborate on what might happen if payments aren’t made by then. Tankers should load at both ports on Friday.

Libya Oil Guards Set New Salary Deadline as Exports Risk Lingers

The north African country’s production and exports surged late last year as a fragile peace broke out in a nation that’s been riven by conflict for extended periods of time since the ouster of Muammar Qaddafi. The guards, who are meant to be neutral in the tensions, have occasionally disrupted exports before. Libya’s output rebounded to 1.3 million barrels a day this week after a major pipeline was fixed.

Libya’s resurgent production posed a dilemma for other oil producing nations who are participating in a pact to curb crude supplies because of a demand slump caused by Covid-19.

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