Wounded civil war veterans have blockaded Libya's Zawiyah [Zawiya, Zawia, Azzawia] refinery demanding better medical treatment, in a move that has already cost the country at least $30 million in three days.
Outgoing deputy oil minister Omar al-Shakmak told AFP that the losses were due to the interruption of operations at the refinery, which supplies both the domestic and international markets, and the suspension of exports from its port.
About 150 war veterans are refusing to move until a solution is found, and the action has caused long queues at petrol stations.
The distribution director of Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC), Adnen Abdelmaula, has assured the public that fuel reserves can last for more than two months.
Established in 1976, the Zawiyah oil refinery supplies the west of the country, accounting for about 70 percent of domestic consumption according to AFP; Reuters puts the figure at 40 percent, with a 120,000 bpd capacity.
Employees at the plant have also threatened to strike on Wednesday unless the government provides adequate security to protect the refinery from future demonstrations.
(Sources: AFP, Xinhua, Reuters, Libya Herald)