Tripoli, July 14 (IANS) Four engineers were kidnapped from an oil field in southern Libya on Saturday, the state-owned National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Saturday. Two of them were later freed.
The kidnapping took place at 6.30 a.m. (local time) at the facilities of Station 186 of the Sharara oil field, an NOC statement said.
“Four engineers were abducted from Sharara oil field during routine work in the field earlier this morning,” a military source in the Joint Security Chamber of Ubari city, 1,100 km south of the capital Tripoli, told Xinhua news agency.
The incident happened when the engineers were leaving the accommodation compound of the field towards a sub-site. Their car was left at the site. Two of them were released later, the military source told the agency, adding that the engineers were three Libyans and one Romanian.
According to the NOC, oil wells in the surrounding area were shut down with all workers evacuated.
Sharara is Libya’s largest oil field, with a production of almost 270,000 barrels of crude oil per day, nearly one quarter of the country’s daily oil output.
In November 2017, an unidentified armed group kidnapped four foreign workers — three Turks and a German — who were working at the power station in Obari, 1,100 km south of Tripoli. The workers were released two weeks ago after tribal mediation with the kidnappers.
Following the 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi’s government, Libya has been suffering escalating violence and insecurity, as well as political division.