ExxonMobil cries out over ex-employees blockade
ExxonMobil has raised the alarm over a blockade by its former employees, saying the action threatens crude production at oil facilities in Nigeria. “Disruptions to these operations have the potential to significantly impact revenues,” the oil firm said in a statement, which is coming 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 production facilities could impact the company’s ability to safely continue production operations,” ExxonMobil said.
A company spokesman told S&P Global Platts Monday 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 Federal Government’s directive on August 28, 2018 through the Minister of Labour ordering them to desist, the company added.
Nigeria’s flagship export grade is produced from fields 20-40 miles off the coast of southeast Nigeria, and is brought onshore at the Qua Iboe terminal via a seabed pipeline system.It is a light sweet crude and when refined has a high yield of gasoline and middle distillates, making it a very popular crude with global refiners.ExxonMobil holds a 40 per cent interest in the field’s production, with state-owned NNPC holding the remainder.