PENGASSAN threatens nationwide strike

PENGASSAN threatens nationwide strike


Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, one of the country’s two main oil unions, on Thursday threatened to stage a nationwide strike from December 15 over a “mass sacking of workers”.

The union said in a statement that it disputed the treatment of its workers by domestic oil and gas companies and marginal field operators. There had been “an apparent failure of relevant authorities of government to call to order these recalcitrant organisations,” it said.

If the government fails to force the management of those companies to recall union members who had been laid off, PENGASSAN workers would go on strike, the union said.

However, Nigeria is set to get another new oil refinery as government’s push to end fuel imports attracts investors to the industry.

Petrolex Oil & Gas Ltd. plans to build a $3.6 billion plant with a capacity of 250,000 barrels a day, Chief Executive Officer Segun Adebutu told journalists in Lagos. The closely held company is working on the “front-end engineering design” and will complete construction in 2021, he said.

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil-producing nation, doesn’t have adequate refining capacity and imports at least 70 percent of its needs. A government pledge to end such purchases in the next two years by building local capacity has lured investors, including Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, who is constructing a 650,000-barrel-a-day refinery.

Meanwhile Saipem SpA and other international companies are in talks to rehabilitate the country’s three existing plants. Petrolex, whose CEO started an oil and fuel trading business about 12 years ago, has also built a storage-tank farm and other “mid-stream infrastructure” for $330 million.

“The Petrolex will finance the refinery project with loans from banks and international lenders, as well as its own revenue.The company also planned a fertilizer plant and lubricants facility as well as a liquefied petroleum gas plant,”  Adebutu said.

He explained that Petrolex is targeting listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in the next 10 years to ensure the business “outlives its owners” and can fund future expansion, according to Adebutu. “By the next five years we would have achieved a significant amount of our ambition, then begin strategy talks with the stock exchange.”