Oil Workers Begin Strike

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CEM REPORT, OIL & GAS | Oil production in the country might yet again suffer a setback of about 22,000 barrels per day as oil workers in the country have commenced strike.

The strike the workers say is to protest the inability of the Federal Government and the oil firm to pay their terminal benefits.

The over 300 striking employees of Addax Petroleum Development Nigeria are also protesting anti-labour practices against them by the firm’s management

Recall that the workers in August went on strike over the same issue until the intervention of the federal government through the NNPC.

The striking workers, under the aegis of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), alleged that since the government withdrew the operating licences from Addax in March 2021 due to the company’s refusal to fully develop the oil wells allocated to it, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited has taken over the assets and has resumed lifting oil products since June 2022.

The striking workers alleged that the government and Addax management have refused to address issues that led to the August 2022 strike.

The workers alleged that Addax Petroleum has failed to provide among others, growth, recognition, security and advancement to them which are basic traits of a good working environment.

According to the striking workers: “As a matter of fact, we no longer pray for improved working conditions but only hope to be alive to reap the benefits of the many years we have put in at Addax Petroleum, as the prevailing situation is taking a heavy toll on the health and mental wellbeing of Union members.”

In a letter addressed to PENGASSAN’s General Secretary through Addax Branch Secretary, Ken Olubor, appealed to the NNPC to pay their exit packages, especially Addax’s plans to leave Nigeria.

“SINOPEC has withheld funding for her Nigeria operation (Addax Petroleum Development Nigeria) following its ongoing exit which has created safety and operational challenges for employees and the much-anticipated operational funding from the NNPC/NAPIMS is yet to be received.

“The safety and security of our members have been compromised. Addax Izombe facility OML-124 recently suffered an attempted bomb blast incident around the staff accommodation area. Employees working in the field have recently been exposed to increased security and safety threats as our onshore location continues to come under siege by unknown armed men.

“This situation is evident in the reoccurring high medical bills recorded by the Company’s Human Resources Department.

“The above notwithstanding, the Addax staff members have continued to work even harder than usual, increasing the OML-123 Asset production from circa 10,000bopd to about 17,000bopd. PENGASSAN -Addax Branch has been put in an indeterminate state. as SINOPEC-owned Addax Petroleum Development Nigeria Limited exited and NNPC Limited is slowly assuming responsibility for the operations of the assets.

“It is important to mention that NNPC has been taking all the revenue from the OML-123/124 and OML-126/137 Assets since June 2022.”

Other allegations levelled by the workers include irregular payment of salaries and allowances, stoppage of appraisal performance reward, violation of employment working hour terms and undue elongation of working without compensation, prolonged stagnation and non-promotion since 2019, and there been no appraisal in the year 2022 due to the ongoing impasse.

China’s Sinopec Group owns Addax with four Oil Mining Licences – OML 123, 124, 126 and 137, which it operates in a Production Sharing Contract (PSC) with the NNPC Limited.

The Federal Government withdrew the operating licences from Addax in March 2021 over the alleged failure to fully develop the oil wells.

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