Energy giant, ExxonMobil, yesterday raised concerns over the continued blockade of its facilities by aggrieved former employees; noting that Nigeria’s crude oil export may suffer in the long run.

A statement issued by Mobil Producing Nigeria (a subsidiary of ExxonMobil in Nigeria), disclosed that the blockade has persisted for six weeks. Now, it threatens to disrupt production activities and impact revenue inflow in the process.

“These blockades entail playing of loud music, defacing of company facilities and intimidation of personnel… Continued denial of access to production facilities could impact the company’s ability to safely continue production operations.” – ExxonMobil

Here’s the backstory…

The blockade of ExxonMobil’s facilities followed the July mass sacking of nearly 900 staff members of the oil company; many of whom were security personnel who have served the company for more than two decades.

The development incited a reaction from Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), who called for the immediate reinstatement of the sacked workers.

The union also accused ExxonMobil of being in the habit of indiscriminately sacking Nigerians and replacing them with foreign workers; thereby taking jobs away from Nigerians regardless of their years of service to the company.

Why this matters

The Nigerian economy is highly dependent on crude oil exportation, and ExxonMobil is one of the biggest producers. In specific terms, the company pumps over 550,000 barrels of crude every day. This is asides from the condensates and natural gas liquids it equally produces.

With this in mind, therefore, persistent disruptions such as the one happening at the moment could potentially disrupt Nigeria’s crude exports and by extension the economy.

A reduction in Nigeria’s crude export would be unfavourable for the country. This is because a lot of things could potentially be negatively affected; including forex, a decline in Foreign Portfolio Investment and more negatives.

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It is, therefore, imperative that the conflict is swiftly resolved by all the parties involved in order to restore normalcy and ensure optimal production.

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