ExxonMobil said a blockade by former employees threatens crude production at oil facilities in Nigeria, adding that “disruptions to these operations have the potential to significantly impact revenues.”
The company made the announcement in a statement after a six-week blockade by former workers at the oil facilities.
Mobil Producing Nigeria, the ExxonMobil subsidiary that released the statement, produces over 550,000 barrels per day of crude oil, condensates and natural gas liquids, according to the company website.
Nigeria’s average production in the second quarter of 2018 was 1.8 million barrels per day, according to the country’s statistics office. The blockades were described in ExxonMobil’s statement as the “playing of loud music, defacing of company facilities and intimidation of personnel.”
The “continued denial of access to lproduction facilities could impact the company’s ability to safely continue production operations,” ExxonMobil said.
The protest which began on 17 July was over the sacking of 860 Nigerian workers most of whom had worked with the company for over 22 years without regards for the rule of law.
Mr Rasak Obe, the Chairman of ExxonMobil Branch of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), said the union was shocked by the mass sack of security personnel who had faithfully served the company for many years.
He said the management should immediately reinstate the employees of the security department and pay all entitlements due to them.
The union leader also urged the management to immediately reinstate the 16 employees purportedly sacked in Dec. 2016 in a similar fashion.
He demanded the immediate release and repatriation of over 20 expatriate personnel in the security department who had been engaged and kept in defiance of extant Nigerian laws and security directives.
According to him, this was an unfortunate situation which the Supreme Court of Nigeria had corrected with its April 20, 2018 judgment.
“This underscored the scale of error in company’s assessment of the reality after the Supreme Court judgment.
“There are tens more who by the judgment are active employees of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited.
“To say the least, this wholesale sack unambiguously conveys management’s disdain for the highest court of the country and mocks its ruling on the subject”.
Obe said the company was quick to indiscriminately sack Nigerians and replace them with expatriates, taking jobs Nigerians have successfully performed over the decades.
He said expatriate security personnel, many of whom were ex-service men, were currently engaged in the security department against the directives of National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) and the Nigerian Defence Ministry.