As the face-off between the Rivers State Government and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, continues over the arrest and forced quarantining of 22 ExxonMobil offshore workers, PENGASSAN has directed members to shut operations and all activities at the nation’s oil rigs and export terminals from midnight.
A statement by Ndukaku Ohaeri, the national chairman of the association said that “By midnight Sunday 19th April 2020, all Export facilities will stop operation as well as suspension of Production & Maintenance Services Reports. By 12 noon on Monday 20th April all our members will withdraw all forms of services relating to crude oil production, refining, distribution and supplies.”
The 22 offshore staff of Exxon Mobil were arrested on Thursday in Bori, Khana Local Government Area while returning from Akwa Ibom and detained by Rivers State government on allegation of breaching the state government executive order.
PENGASSAN had threatened to withdraw oil workers in the rigs and export terminals over the arrest and detention including alleged incessant harassment of oil workers on essential services by state governments and security agents.
21 of the arrested workers are members of PENGASSAN, while the 22nd person is the Chief Security Officer, CSO, of ExxonMobil.