Tripoli has toughened its stance against the sit-ins and protests that have dogged the country’s oil sector – knocking an average of 160,000 b/d off crude production for December and January. But the key eastern port of Zueitina remains shut due to protests.

Zueitina port has been shut for two weeks from early January, following the start of protests on 22 December. Whilst the original protests at Zueitina crude terminal 70km south of Benghazi have ended, the restart of the port awaits an agreement with local staff on security issues, MEES understands. This will likely take five to 10 days, sources with close knowledge of the situation tell MEES. Indeed the most recent protests at Zueitina have been by residents demanding the reopening of the terminal, which is a key source of local revenue, as well as improved security to prevent a repeat of the increasingly common phenomenon of facilities being shut in by people demanding employment. (CONTINUED - 904 WORDS)