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General Strike In Nigeria Not Affecting Oil Production

A nationwide workers’ strike that Nigeria’s main unions started on Thursday has not had an impact on the oil industry in the country, a spokesman for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) told Reuters, while leaders of the two main oil workers’ unions said there haven’t been any companies affected.  

The main unions in Nigeria are staging a nationwide strike to demand an increased minimum wage after talks with the government broke down on Wednesday.

Cogent Ojobor, a leader in the Niger Delta region at the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), told Reuters: “No oil company is affected for now.”

“We are not shutting down production,” Lumumba Okugbawa, the general secretary of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), said.

On Wednesday, NNPC Group Managing Director Maikanti Baru appealed to “motorists and other consumers of petroleum products across the country not to engage in panic buying of products over the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) planned industrial action.”  

The nationwide strike in all sectors of Nigeria’s economy comes a few weeks after ExxonMobil warned at the beginning of this month that a six-week-long blockade of ExxonMobil’s offices and oil facilities in Nigeria by former workers protesting their dismissals threatens the normal production and exports of Nigeria’s flagship Qua Iboe crude grade.

After some hiccups and pipeline outages during the spring and early summer, Nigeria’s crude oil production jumped by 74,000 bpd from its July level to average 1.725 million bpd in August, according to OPEC’s secondary sources.

In May, Nigeria’s production and exports were disrupted by outages of oil flows on pipelines feeding oil export terminals, and delays in cargo loadings. In June, there were disruptions to Bonny Light, Forcados, and Qua Iboe flows—all of which are key Nigerian crude grades.

But production has recently stabilized and Nigeria’s oil exports for October are expected to hit a four-month high at 1.73 million bpd, as grades are coming back online following pipeline outages in the summer, according to loading schedules that Reuters has seen.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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