TRIPOLI : Libya's UN-backed government on Wednesday announced that the country's largest oil field, Al-Sharara, was reopened after it was forcefully closed two weeks ago by gunmen and protesters demanding better services for the south. According to a statement issued by the Libyan PM's information office later on Wednesday, the oil field was reopened following a visit by Prime Minister Fayez Serraj to the field, where he met with representatives of the protesters as well as military and security officials of the region. Serraj stressed the people's right for peaceful expression and legitimate demands and rejected any threat to income sources of the people, confirming that dialogue is the only way to solve problems, the statement said. The Prime Minister also said that development projects will be launched in the region, vowing to improve security in the southern border area. Serraj on Tuesday announced allocation of 800 million U.S. dollars to improve services in southern Libya.

The state-owned National Oil Corporation two weeks ago declared force majeure in Al-Sharara oil field in the south, following forced closure of the field by armed group and protesters demanding improved services and security for the region.

Al-Sharara, located some 750 km southwest of capital Tripoli, is the largest oil field in Libya. It produces 270,000 barrels of oil per day, more than a quarter of Libya's daily oil production.