Iraqi protesters on Wednesday November 6th prevented tankers transporting fuel to gas stations from entering the Nassiriya oil refinery in Iraq’s province of Dhi Qar, Reuters cited security and oil sources as saying.
Ignoring an earlier warning by the prime minister, protesters blocked the entrance to the refinery, leading to fuel shortages in the southern province.
Abdul Mahdi, in a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, warned protesters against the harm caused to the state and people by the disruption of the oil sector.
“It is not possible to resort to borrowing again in the event of the disruption of the oil sector,” he said, adding that the country is required to pay its foreign debts according to deadlines that cannot be violated.
The Nassiriya oil refinery has fallen short of producing its maximum production capacity of 30,000 barrels per day, producing less than half of this capacity.
The protests, which started in October, were triggered by allegations of political corruption and have called for the provision of job opportunities and of services nationwide.
Clashes between security forces and protesters since the start of the demonstrations have caused the deaths of over 260 Iraqis, according to media reports. Official data on the number of victims in the ongoing protests are still unavailable.