ExxonMobil’s Nigerian oil producing unit, weekend said its crude production and exports facilities from the Qua Iboe terminal had come under threat following an over six-week blockade by former employees protesting their dismissal.
A statement from company said, “The continued blockade means a loss of access for employees [and contractors]. Continued denial of access to production facilities could impact the company’s ability to safely continue production operations.”
Prior to the ongoing blockade, ExxonMobil exports over 300,000 barrel per day (p/d) of crude from the Qua Iboe terminal.
The aggrieved workers, who were ex-security personnel engaged by the US oil firm along with 508 workers were dismissed in July, had been blockading the company’s offices and facilities since July 13.
The company’s spokesman on Monday explained that the protest had delayed plans by ExxonMobil to start refurbishing crude oil pipelines at the Qua Iboe terminal targeted at increasing production.
ExxonMobil said the aggrieved former employees had threatened workers with physical violence “and other actions that threaten production at one of Nigeria’s key joint venture assets.”
The protest has continued despite the Nigerian government’s directive on August 28, 2018 through the minister of labor, Senator Chris Ngige, ordering them to desist, he stated.
The chairman of ExxonMobil branch of the senior oil workers’ Pengassan union, Rasak Obe, had said in a statement in July that the workers had embarked on the action to protest against the mass, unfair dismissal of workers, mainly security personnel.
Obe said then the action would not be called off until the company reinstated the workers.
ExxonMobil said on Sunday that while the affected workers were third-party direct employees, it had offered significant severance packages to the affected workers as was negotiated and agreed by all parties.