(Bloomberg) -- Iraq, OPEC’s second-biggest producer, halted output from a southern oil field as protesters walked close to installations, according to person with knowledge of the situation who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.
Other southern fields will make up the amount from the shutdown, which won’t affect the country’s output. The halt is temporary until the Nasiriya field, which produces 80,000 to 85,000 barrels a day, is clear of protesters.
The closure was a precautionary measure for the safety of the field as well as the nearby protesters, the person said.
Protesters have rallied more than once over the past two months near the southern oil fields in Basra and other cities and near refineries, but output hasn’t previously been shut down.
Around 500 people have died and more than 22,000 others wounded in clashes between security forces and protesters since Oct. 1. Iraqis, mostly from the Shiite majority population, are protesting against government corruption, poor services, and wide-ranging Iranian political influence, calling for an overhaul of the ruling class.
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