The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria says it has begun gradual withdrawal from oil and gas installations belonging to Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, a subsidiary of United States’ ExxonMobil Corporation.
The oil workers said it continued the picketing of ExxonMobil Nigeria on Wednesday, describing Mobil as one of the largest oil-producing companies in Nigeria with about 660,000 barrel per day.
PENGASSAN said in a statement that the nation’s revenue would be negatively impacted if it shut down the company’s oil and gas installations.
Addressing the workers during the picketing of ExxonMobil’s office in Lagos on Wednesday, the Lagos Zonal Chairman, PENGASSAN, Mr. Abel Agarin, said there had been gradual shutting down of the plants in Mobil locations all over the country.
He said, “Our members have begun gradual withdrawal from oil and gas installations belonging to Mobil in Nigeria. Our members in the loading bay at best operations platform, where crude oil is loaded, have been withdrawn; while those in Erha and Usan FPSO will be joining by midnight today (Wednesday) and those in Bonny River Terminal will join by midnight Thursday.
“Final shutdown will be with the withdrawal of our members in Qua Iboe Terminal with about 14 locations and many well ends by Friday midnight. By Friday, other international oil companies such as Chevron, Shell, Addax, Total and Agip and indigenous oil companies will join.”
Agarin said the union was also mobilising its members in Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, Petroleum Equalisation Fund, Department of Petroleum Resources, and the National Petroleum Investment Management Services.
According to the statement, members of PENGASSAN embarked on a three-day warning strike last week to protest the refusal of the ExxonMobil management to honour an agreement reached during a tripartite meeting with the senior staff union and the Ministry of Labour and Productivity.
The union said in the agreement brokered by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige, that the company agreed to review the sacking of 83 employees in December and that none of the workers that participated in a protest in December would be sanctioned for their actions.
When contacted, the Manager, Media and Communications, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, Mr. Oge Udeagha, said, “We are in compliance with the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act and other laws that govern utilisation of expatriate employees. Our workforce is 95 per cent Nigerian.
“Our company policy concerning employee conduct specifically prohibits the use of threats of harm or violence in the workplace. We remain committed to the safety of our personnel and security of our facilities.”