By Prince Okafor
ExxonMobil has put in place some measures to sustain oil and gas production as personnel embarked on strike to back their demand for reinstatement of sack employees of the company and other demands.
Investigations showed that adequate personnel have been mobilised to offshore production platforms and loading terminal in order to guarantee production and export.
A company source who confirmed the development indicated that adequate security has also been put in place to ensure their safety at work.
“The company is not unmindful of the possible threat to sustainable operations. Consequently, it has mobilised many workers to production and export locations to ensure operations are not affected.”
“These workers are very safe because many policemen and other security agencies have also been deployed to protect them at work. It should be noted that the company attach much importance to the safety of its workers.”
“The strike has not affected and will not likely affect output as a result of the proactive measure the company adopted to mitigate possible impact of the strike.” he added.
Nigerian workers at Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, a subsidiary of United States’ ExxonMobil Corporation embarked on strike last Tuesday in protest over the sacking of workers and alleged non compliance of the company to Nigeria Content Act
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria has indicated that it has withdrawn its members from the oil and gas installations belonging to Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited.
According to the Lagos Zonal Chairman, PENGASSAN, Mr. Abel Agarin, members of his union were on strike in protest at the sacking of 150 workers in December.
“On Thursday morning the Managing Director of ExxonMobil had a meeting with the in-house branch chairman, although talks are still on. We will have other meetings later in the day, and if nothing comes out, we will shut down the company’s operations nationwide, and if this happens, the country’s crude oil production will decline by 600, 000 bbl/d.”
“We want them those staffs to be brought back and if that is not possible we want a proper severance package for them,” said Agarin, who led around 50 protesters in the Lagos. Our members in the loading bay at best operations platform, where crude oil is loaded, have been withdrawn; while those in Erha and Usan FPSO will joined midnight of Wednesday and those in Bonny River Terminal will join by midnight Thursday (Yesterday).”
“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,” he added.
He noted that the union was mobilising its members in Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), and the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS).
“The agreement brokered by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige and the management of ExxonMobil agreed to review the sack of 83 employees in December 2016. Agarin added that the management agreed that none of the workers that participated in a protest in December would be sanctioned.
“Without honouring the agreement, the management suspended other union leaders in the company that took part in the December protest. The company has no respect for constituted authority of the land, as represented by the Minister of Labour and Productivity.
“The management disobeyed the law and authority of Nigeria which is not acceptable to us,” Agarin said.
A staff of the company confirmed the faceoff between the management and the staff, stating that, “only essential services like security, emergency medical team and very few administrative staffs are on duty, apart from them, other activities are shutdown.
However, Mr Oge Udeagha, ExxonMobil Media Manager denied the allegation that they failed to honour the agreement reached with Minister of Labour.
Udeagha said that the management was in compliance with the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Act and other laws that govern utilisation of expatriate employees.
Meanwhile, Vanguard gathered that the unions had failed to honour the call by the Minister to resolve current crisis rocking the company.