Libya’s state oil company said armed clashes at the western port of Zawiya have damaged several storage tanks, as a worsening political crisis engulfs the OPEC member’s energy sector.
“Preliminary assessments indicate that 29 sites, including oil derivatives tanks and several other tanks, have been damaged,” the National Oil Corp. said in a statement late on Saturday.
The NOC didn’t specify whether the fighting only affected tanks used for a refinery at Zawiya, or also those holding oil to be exported. The port is fed by Sharara, Libya’s biggest field.
Libya’s daily production has fallen by about 500,000 barrels from 1.3 million in the past 10 days as protesters calling for Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah to quit shut down ports and fields. The NOC has been forced to close Sharara and El Feel in the west, and some eastern deposits.
“The NOC calls on everyone to show restraint and keep oil facilities away from any armed actions,” it said.
Libya has been mired in conflict for much of the period since the 2011 fall of dictator Moammar Al Qaddafi. The North African nation was meant to hold a presidential election in December, but it was delayed with just days to go, dealing a blow to peace efforts. Dbeibah is resisting demands from some lawmakers to resign after they declared former interior minister Fathi Bashagha as prime minister in February.