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Labor strikes halt Libyan oil production

TRIPOLI, Libya, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- A teachers' strike in Zawia, Libya, spilled over to the region's oil refinery, with oil workers leaving their stations, an employee said.

The Libya Herald reports roughly 2,000 people work at the plant in western Libya, which has the capacity to process 125,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

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"They are letting people out but not letting anyone go back in," one employee told the newspaper Monday.

Libya has struggled to return to a pre-civil war oil production level in excess of 1 million bpd. Labor strikes and national security issues have crippled the energy sector since the end of the war in 2011.

Rival groups in the east of the country announced last weekend they declared independence for the region known as Cyrenaica. The region hosts some of Libya's key oil terminals.

The Libyan National Oil Co. last week ended a blockade on eastern crude oil exports after regional security improved. The Platts energy news service, a division of publisher McGraw Hill, reported Monday Libya is producing approximately 250,000 bpd.

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