Tehran, Feb 27 (IANS) Anti-government protesters in Libya have gained control over most of the country’s oil fields, Iran’s Press TV said Sunday.
The oil fields are no longer under the control of Libyan strongman Muammer Gaddafi, the channel said, citing a report in Libya’s al-Youm newspaper.
Pro-democracy demonstrations inspired by the successful uprisings in neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt have engulfed Libya since Feb 14. Protesters are demanding the ouster of Gaddafi, who came to power 41 years ago in a bloodless military coup.
Protesters in eastern Libya claimed Friday that most oil fields in the towns of Ras Lanuf and Brega are under their control and soldiers who have defected are helping them to secure the port, the report said.
“Nearly all the oil fields in 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 and security concerns.