Nigeria Strikes Continue
Nigerian oil union Pengassan said it will only shut down oil output as “a last resort” in Africa’s top crude producer to give more time for negotiations with President Goodluck Jonathan’s government to end a strike now in the second week.
The Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress, the country’s two biggest labor federations, called the strike to protest against higher fuel prices after the government said on Jan. 1 it was ending subsidies it said cost 1.2 trillion naira ($7.4 billion) last year.
The two federations have asked Pengassan “to defer the shutting down of oil production and export,” the union said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. The “the postponement will enable labor and civil society groups explore ongoing consultations and negotiations in resolving the current nationwide strike.”
The work stoppage, which began Jan. 9, has limited trade in stocks and the naira, closed ports and banks and sparked street protests. The cost to sub-Saharan Africa’s second-biggest economy may be more than $1 billion a day, according to Gregory Kronsten, head of macroeconomic research at FBN Capital Ltd. in London.
While oil output and exports remain unaffected by the strike, Pengassan is poised “to execute immediately the systematic shutdown of oil production should the negotiation with the government break down,” the Lagos-based union said yesterday in an e-mailed statement.
Nigeria pumped about 2.2 million barrels of oil a day last month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. At least 90 percent of Nigeria’s crude is produced by Royal Dutch Shell Plc, based in The Hague; Exxon Mobil Corp.; San Ramon, California- based Chevron Corp.; Total SA and Eni SpA in joint ventures with the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp.
“We’re holding the necessary consultations,” Labor Minister Chukwuemeka Wogu told reporters in Abuja yesterday. “We expect to have an agreement soon.”
The government’s offer to reduce fuel prices falls short of the unions’ demand for a full reversal and is unlikely to restore normalcy, the NLC and the TUC said in a joint statement yesterday. “For the avoidance of any doubt, the indefinite strikes, rallies and protests continue nationwide” as of Jan. 16.
Jonathan, who won a four-year term in April, had pledged to use savings to invest in power plants and roads in Africa’s most populous country, which is roughly split between a mainly Muslim north and a predominantly Christian south.
At the same time, he faces an increase in religious violence in parts of the north where he has declared a state of emergency and says Islamic militants pose a worse threat to the country than the 1967-70 civil war.
More than 85 people have died in bomb and gun attacks since Christmas Day on churches in Abuja and in the north that the authorities blame on Boko Haram, a militant Islamic group inspired by Afghanistan’s Taliban movement.
Gasoline prices in Nigeria, where two-thirds of the population of about 164 million live on less than $1.25 a day, had been capped at 65 naira a liter (0.3 gallon), leading to a shortage of investment in refineries that forced the West African nation to import about 70 percent of its fuel.
In opposing Jonathan’s reform, union leaders and protest groups have focused their criticisms on government waste and corruption, especially those associated with fuel imports and distribution.
Investigation of Payments
The president has approved the investigation of fuel-import payments and the prosecution of those found to have engaged in “any incidence of malfeasance, fraud, over-invoicing and related illegalities,” Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison- Madueke said yesterday in an e-mailed statement.
“No matter what happens, the government’s credibility is seriously dented, and they’ll have to earn it back,” Bismarck Rewane, analyst and chief executive officer of Lagos-based Financial Derivatives Co., said by phone. “The reality is that this is the beginning of new dispensation. People will demand proper governance, people will demand honesty.”
“Gov’t furious over Formosa plant fire” shouts a headline in theMarch 28, 2013 read more
Oil refineries and other large industrial operations may face steMarch 1, 2013 read more
HALIFAX — An investigation has been launched into an electrical fFebruary 20, 2013 read more
When we consider fire safety codes, ordinances, standards, and siFebruary 19, 2013 read more
KIEV -- Ukraine and Shell will sign a landmark multibillion-dollaJanuary 28, 2013 read more
This article was originally published in Turbomachinery InternatiJanuary 18, 2013 read more
As we near the close of 2012, KEVTA wishes all of our customers,December 21, 2012 read more
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has concluded an agreemenDecember 18, 2012 read more
In late September, Mexican State owned oil company PEMEX reportedDecember 17, 2012 read more
The past 12 months have seen continuing instability in the MiddleDecember 4, 2012 read more
Following the November 16 fire on the Black Elk Energy-operated WNovember 30, 2012 read more
Originally published by Turbomachinery International, the articleSeptember 11, 2012 read more
Investment groups that bought BP shares on the London Stock ExchaSeptember 7, 2012 read more
Four workers were injured in a fire at the refinery in the northeSeptember 4, 2012 read more
A blaze at Venezuela’s largest refinery spread to a third storageAugust 28, 2012 read more
Japan's top oil refiner JX Nippon Oil & Energy said one of thAugust 23, 2012 read more
A fire was extinguished Tuesday evening aboard a platform workingAugust 22, 2012 read more
ONGC reports a major new oil discovery offshore western India.August 21, 2012 read more
An explosion on August 2nd inside the Co-Generation Plant at theAugust 12, 2012 read more
GE announced recently that it will reorganize its Energy businessJuly 26, 2012 read more
The turbine and turbine generator sets market is set to reach a wJune 28, 2012 read more
United Technologies Corp is looking to sell power generation asseJune 21, 2012 read more
A fire broke out in a generator on the offshore oil production SeMay 29, 2012 read more
Firefighters were called to a fire at the Hinkley Point B nuclearMay 21, 2012 read more
Join KEVTA Fire Systems, a unique combination of people and technMay 16, 2012 read more
Two recent incidents could hurt Danish wind turbine manufacturerApril 13, 2012 read more
France's Total sent fire-fighting ships close to the scene of a gApril 4, 2012 read more
Sadly, Nicolas Cuevas, one of three contract workers injured in aMarch 15, 2012 read more
Pratt & Whitney Power Systems recently announced the developmMarch 12, 2012 read more
Moody's Investors Service cut its rating outlook for United TechnMarch 9, 2012 read more
The manager of BP's Cherry Point refinery says a fire earlier thiFebruary 28, 2012 read more
State safety inspectors are investigating the cause of a dramaticFebruary 20, 2012 read more
Earlier this month, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, as part of its earningFebruary 17, 2012 read more
After 12 years working for the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes, CoryFebruary 16, 2012 read more
Authorities are investigating what caused a wind turbine to catchFebruary 2, 2012 read more
Late in 2011, a gas turbine at a Shoreham National Grid facilityFebruary 1, 2012 read more
Two workers are being treated for serious injuries following anJanuary 31, 2012 read more
Chevron Corp. doesn’t expect to put out a fire that started lastJanuary 27, 2012 read more
A spokesperson for Pasadena Refining System has issued an updatedJanuary 26, 2012 read more