Libyan protesters have gained control over the country’s oil fields as thousands of Libyans, demanding the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, are advancing towards the capital Tripoli, reports say.
The oil fields are no longer under the control of the Libyan strongman Gaddafi, Libya al-Youm newspaper reported on Saturday.
Protesters in eastern Libya said earlier on Friday that most oil fields in the towns of Ras Lanuf and Brega are under their control and soldiers who have defected are helping protesters to secure the port.
“Nearly all the oilfields in Libya east of Ras Lanuf are now controlled by the people and the government has no control in this area,” said Abdessalam Najib, a petroleum engineer at the Libyan company Agico.
Oil industry sources outside Libya say crude oil shipments from Libya, the world’s 12th-largest exporter, have nearly halted due to reduced production, a lack of staff at ports as well as security concerns.