Global Processing

Gabon Oil Union Says Ending Strike at Shell Site

April 2, 2008
According to Reuters, an oil workers'' union in Gabon said recently it was ending a strike at Shell''s Gabonese subsidiary after talks brokered by President Omar Bongo but that negotiations with the firm would continue.

Shell''s 60,000 barrels per day production had been shut in for 12 days by the strike over working conditions at its Gamba site and union officials had threatened to extend the industrial action to cover the whole of Gabon''s oil sector.

Some 30,000 barrels per day of production from French oil companies Total and Perenco, which passes through the Gamba terminal, had also been affected.

An ONEP delegation met with representatives of Shell and government officials at talks brokered by President Bongo which continued late into the night.

The union was still demanding the departure of Shell Gabon''s director, Hans Bakker, and his management team, as well as the payment of two months of pay, which the union said had been owed for two years.

Gabon produced about 270,000 bpd in 2007, according to the U.S. government''s Energy Information Administration statistics.

ONEP, which represents workers at nearly 90 employers in Gabon, has said only Total -- the sector''s biggest company -- respects labour regulations set out in national laws governing the industry.

The strike had threatened to spread after workers at Marathon Oil served a five-day notice for possible action in solidarity with their Shell colleagues.