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ExxonMobil Resumes Oil Production in Nigeria


Striking senior oil workers at Mobil Producing Nigeria, an affiliate of ExxonMobil, are back to their jobs, ending a strike of eight days over higher pay. The stoppage affected nearly all of ExxonMobil's 800,000 barrels per day production in Nigeria. Gilbert da Costa in Abuja filed this report for VOA.

The Nigerian oil union, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association, confirmed on Friday oil production resumed hours after striking workers reached a broad accord with ExxonMobil.

The union's national leader, Peter Esele, says a few demands were still being studied but the more contentious issue of increased salary has been resolved.

"The other issues are issues that you cannot resolve in one day," he said. "These are issues you talk of, expatriate quota abuse, contract staffing, casualization. But the bread-and-butter aspect of it has been closed up, and these are the ones that have so much emotion behind it."

The strike and attacks by militants in the Niger Delta crippled production in the world's eighth-largest oil exporter by more than half, driving oil pieces to record levels.

The U.S. oil giant was compelled to shut down nearly all its 800,000 barrels per day production in Nigeria.

Despite resolving the crippling strike, experts predict more instability for Nigeria's beleaguered oil industry.

The country's best known militant group had recently targeted oil pipelines in the troubled oil region.

With oil pipelines crisscrossing the vast forests and creeks of the delta, the Nigerian oil industry is vulnerable to militant attacks.

Some 500,000 barrels a day of Nigeria's 2.5 million barrels daily output is shut down due to the unrest in the Niger Delta.

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