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Members of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, Pengassan, started on Monday a three-day nationwide strike at Chevron, Shell, and Eni’s unit Agip in a solidarity protest over the layoff of union members from ExxonMobil, Pengassan’s general secretary Lumumba Okugbara told Reuters on Tuesday.
The industrial action began at Exxon’s Nigerian subsidiary last week, with employees protesting against a group layoff of oil workers in December last year, when a total of 150 workers lost their jobs, including 82 members of the Pengassan union.
Last week, an Exxon spokesperson had said that there was “no impact” on oil production.
On Monday, reports suggested that Pengassan had told its members to withdraw their services from production facilities and offices of international oil companies operating in Nigeria, in a solidarity action with the strike at ExxonMobil’s Nigerian unit. Union representatives have locked workers out at Shell, Eni, and Chevron’s offices in Lagos, and at the companies’ operational bases in the Niger Delta, according to officials of the international companies who spoke to Platts on the telephone.
Analysts reckon the strike could disrupt Nigeria’s plans to restore its crude oil output to the levels seen before the militant attacks on oil infrastructure began.
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Pengassan’s general secretary told Reuters on Tuesday that “Production activities are still on and our members on essential duties are working. Only those in administrative duties are not working in the various multi-national oil companies since yesterday.”
The union strike at the oil majors in Nigeria comes as the country plans to boost its crude oil output by the summer. Nigeria is planning to complete repair work on the Forcados pipeline and maintenance at the Bonga field by July. Following these, crude oil production should rise to 2.2 million bpd, from 1.27 million bpd in March. The March crude oil output was affected by maintenance at Bonga, which produces 225,000 bpd.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.