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RABAT, January 02, 8:20 /ITAR-TASS/. Blockade of Libya’s oil seaports, which detachments of armed paramilitaries began last summer, undermines the capability of the state to pay wages and scares away the potential foreign investors, Libyan Ministry of Labor said Wednesday.
Actions of the blockaders have dealt a heavy blow the economy and the wages earned by the Libyans had been put into jeopardy, it said.
Armed paramilitaries from the tribes of eastern Libya control the most crucial oil industry installations in the country, including the seaports of As-Sidrah, Ras Lanouf and Zueitina. They demand an expansion of political rights for the eastern region of Cyrenaica, a greater share of profits from the sales of oil, and investigations of the activity of corrupt officials.
Libya Oil Ministry says the actions of the paramilitary units putting up obstacles to the normal work of the oil industry have led to the plummeting of oil production from 1.5 million barrels to just 250,000 barrels a day over the past several months.
The blockade that began in July cost the Libyan budget about $ 9 billion to date.
Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said earlier Libya had bumped into a full-blown economic crisis because of the blockade. Specifically, the budget revenues from the exports of energy resources fell more than 80%.
Oil industry in Libya accounts for about 96% of budget revenues.
Before the civil war of 2011, Libya, which is an OPEC member, produced 1.6 million barrels of crude oil a day.