The economic perils are being felt more and more each day after protesters initially blockaded the Hariba oil port site where 110,000-barrel-per-day port was effectively shuttered last summer in what was a concerted effort to force the government’s hand in imposing law and order some three years after the death of former leader Muammar Gaddafi.
The dispute is one of many involving oil facilities of the OPEC country that have contributed to a cut in petroleum output to 230,000 bpd from 1.4 million bpd in July. Three other ports in the east have also stopped exporting altogether.
The stoppages are critically cutting off state revenues and wreaking havoc on the local budget.
The Hariga conflict highlights the chaos in the North African oil producer since the fall of Gaddafi, and the complications for its fragile government in overcoming protests holding its vital oil industry hostage. Of most concern is that no end to the stalemate is within sight.