Share This Page

Libyan leader under pressure to step down

| Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, 5:54 p.m.

TRIPOLI, Libya — Libya's prime minister heard increasing calls for his ouster on Saturday as strikes by government employees at oil export terminals cost the North African country more than $5 billion.

Bilqasim Shindeer el-Shibany, a board member of Libya's National Oil Corp., said oil exports almost entirely have stopped. Late last month, officials said exports were about 300,000 barrels per day, down dramatically from pre-war levels in early 2011.

Adding to the government's woes, the capital, Tripoli, has been hit with water cuts for three days and electricity outages for the past few months that last for about four hours daily.

Prime Minister Ali Zidan has struggled to rein in the combustible mix of tribal feuds, disgruntled employees and renegade militias fueling the crisis.

The nation's nascent police and army have been unable to secure the country since the eight-month-long civil war in 2011 that toppled dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

The closure of onshore oil facilities has driven down production to just 130,000 barrels per day, Libya's Deputy Oil Minister Omar el-Shakmak told reporters last week.

An official of National Oil Corp. said that figure had risen slightly by the end of the week to 150,000 barrels per day, less than 10 percent of its pre-war levels. He spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Libya was producing 1.6 million barrels of oil per day under Gadhafi and was exporting about 1.2 million barrels daily.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.