TRIPOLI, July 14 (Xinhua) -- Libya's state-owned National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Saturday that two of the four engineers kidnapped from an oil field in southern Libya earlier in the day have been released.
The kidnapping took place at 6:30 a.m. local time (0530 GMT) at the facilities of Station 186 of the Sharara oil field, NOC said in a statement.
"Four of the station staff members were initially kidnapped but two of them have been released," it added.
A military source told Xinhua that the four kidnapped engineers are three Libyans and one Romanian.
"Four engineers, including a Romanian, were abducted from Sharara oil field during routine work in the field earlier this morning," said the military source in the Joint Security Chamber of Ubari city, some 1,100 km south of the capital Tripoli.
The source, who prefers not to be identified for security reasons, said the kidnapping took place as the engineers were leaving the accommodation compound of the field toward a sub-site.
Their car was left at the site, the source added.
According to the NOC, oil wells in the surrounding area have been shut down with all workers evacuated.
"Expected losses of daily production are 160,000 barrels," it said.
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.