May 20, 2018 / 2:55 PM / a year ago

Unemployed protest near east Libyan oil pipeline; production normal

BENGHAZI, Libya, May 20 (Reuters) - A group of unemployed Libyan youths in the eastern town of Marada located near oilfields and a key pipeline has been staging protests to demand jobs at state oil firm NOC, oil and security officials said on Sunday.

Oil production was running normally through the pipeline feeding the Es Sider terminal, which runs near Marada, an oil engineer said.

But officials said they were closely monitoring the protests as similar action by the unemployed had led to pipeline closures in other parts of the North African country, which has been in turmoil since the toppling of leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The youths were demanding jobs and protesting near the pipeline, one security official said.

Armed men have twice blown up the pipeline near Marada since December as security in the remote eastern area is volatile.

Islamic State fighters had a presence there until government forces expelled them from their main stronghold in Sirte in 2016.

The operator of the pipeline is Waha, a subsidiary of the NOC and a joint venture with Hess Corp, Marathon Oil Corp and ConocoPhillips.

Waha pumps 260,000 barrels a day, company executives have said. (Reporting by Ayman al-Warfalli Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Dale Hudson)

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