Low wages and subpar roads led Nigerian oil truck drivers to protest in the capital on Monday, according to a new report by Reuters, which could lead to indefinite supply chain disruptions for the nation’s oil and gas industry, already under pressure after almost a year of attacks in the industry by the separatist group Niger Delta Avengers.
"It is nationwide and compliance is total - all tanker drivers across the nation are involved," Cogent Ojobo, who chairs Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) for the region, said. He added that the union had met with the Nigerian government on Monday and that discussions were ongoing.
"At the end of the meeting today if talks fail then other members of NUPENG, like filling stations, will join and that is bound to increase the pump prices of fuel and other petroleum products," he said.
The Nigerian Labor Ministry had representation at the meetings, according to a government spokesperson, but the discussions had been coordinated by the oil ministry, which was unavailable for comment to Reuters.
In addition to strikes and attacks, oil thefts and pipeline closures have affected Lagos’ energy revenues intermittently over the past year.
Shell’s Nigerian unit shut down one of two lines that carry Bonny Light crude to the export terminal in order to remove oil theft points and repair leaks, Reuters reported on Friday, quoting Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).
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The same subsidiary said in early March that it had shut down for the Bonga field maintenance, which has the capacity to produce some 225,000 barrels of crude daily, until April. The company provided no further details, but Nigerian media estimated the daily loss in revenue at $10.95 million.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…