Oil labour unions defer strike, plan meeting with FG on privatisation

The nation’s petroleum industry may witness stability as two unions have deferred plans to start an indefinite national strike on today over government plans to privatise its four refineries.

The unions -Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENGtook the decision yesterday to enable stakeholders consider the issues involved.

Bloomberg that confirmed the development stated that the unions officials have scheduled to meet and examine the issues involved in the privatisation with government officials on January 7, 2014.

It stated, “The manager-level Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, or Pengassan, with 15,000 members has scheduled talks with petroleum and labor ministry officials for January 7, said its President Babatunde Ogun.

The agency stated, “The bluecollar National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, or Nupeng, hasn’t set a date for discussions, though it will “engage” with government before deciding on strike action.

It quoted Ogun a stating that, “If the government does not back down” PENGASSAN may call strike action which will start by halting the loading of crude cargoes and a gradual shutdown of oil and gas production.

The refineries scheduled for privatisation are located in Port Harcourt, Rivers State Warri, Delta State and Kaduna, Kaduna State.

Available statistics showed that the government controls the plants through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation; NNPC.

The NNPC stated, “The refineries have a combined installed capacity of 445,000 bpd. A comprehensive network of pipelines and depots strategically located throughout Nigeria links these refineries.

The corporation stated that the PHRC is made up of two refineries, located at Alesa Eleme near Port Harcourt with a jetty (for product import and export).

It stated that the jetty is located 7.5km away from the refinery complex. In 1983, the Port Harcourt refinery with 60,000 bpd nameplate CDU capacity and the tankage facilities were acquired by NNPC from Shell.

The NNPC stated, “Subsequently, a new 150,000 bpd export refinery was built in 1988 and commissioned in 1989. Therefore, the current combined installed capacity of PHRC is 210,000 bpd.

It also stated, “NNPC, through its subsidiary, the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, PPMC, supplies only to bulk customers. They, in turn, meet the needs of millions of customers across the country for products ranging from gasoline and jet fuel to diesel, fuel oil and liquefied petroleum gas.

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