ExxonMobil warns Nigerian blockades threaten production

6 September 2018

A blockade by former ExxonMobil employees on its Nigerian oil facilities threatens crude oil production, the company has warned. 

The company made the announcement on Monday after six weeks of blockades by aggrieved former employees at its Nigerian offices and facilities, saying their actions “threatened production” and had the potential to “significantly impact revenues”.

According to Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN), ExxonMobil’s Nigerian subsidiary, the protestors’ actions included “picketing, harassment, blockade of company facilities, playing of loud music, defacing of company facilities and intimidation of personnel”.

MPN produces more than 550,000 barrels per day of crude oil, condensates and natural gas liquids, according to the company website.

The “continued denial of access to production facilities could impact the company’s ability to safely continue production operations,” ExxonMobil said.

The blockade has also resulted in a “loss of access for employees, contractors and the family members who live in our residences”.

The protest has continued despite the government’s directive on 28 August ordering the former security personnel to desist, the company added. The Nigerian Supreme Court had previously ruled that MPN should recognise the former security personnel as employees.

“MPN has endured these adverse actions over the past six weeks in the hope that common sense will prevail and based on our commitment to the pursuit of a peaceful resolution of this unfortunate episode,” ExxonMobil said.

“We urge the few individuals who are still on the path of violence to rethink their actions.”

Earlier this year, SM reported that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation had imported petrol worth $5.8bn to combat a fuel shortage in the country.

Maikanti Baru, group managing director of the state-owned enterprise, said it had shipped in 9.8m tonnes of fuel since a shortage began late last year.

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