(Updates with Shell reaction)
LIBREVILLE, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell
workers in Gabon began an "unlimited" strike on Thursday at all
the company's operations in the Central African OPEC member
country, the workers' union wrote in a letter to employees.
Shell is in advanced talks to sell its Gabon assets, which
one source estimated could be worth $700 million, leaving
workers worried about layoffs or being moved to new locations,
the union said.
The national union of petroleum employees (ONEP) said the
strike "will cover all of Shell Gabon's operations (Libreville,
Port-Gentil, Gamba Rabi, Koula and Toucan)".
Shell, which produces about 55,000 barrels of oil per day in
Gabon, confirmed the announcement of the strike but declined to
say if it had had an impact on production. It operates the Gamba
export terminal through which an additional 20,000 barrels from
other producers are also exported.
"Our local management team in Gabon is engaged in mediation
with the Ministry of Labour and the union ONEP relating to
impacts on employees from our advanced negotiations with a
potential buyer," a Shell spokesman said.
The union demanded in December that all Shell Gabon
employees be transferred to whichever company takes on Shell's
assets, and that no redundancies were made for economic reasons
within five years of the deal.
Gabon is Africa's fourth largest oil producer with an output
of around 220,000 barrels per day dominated by international oil
majors Total and Shell.
(Reporting by Wilfried Obangome; additional reporting by Ron
Bousso in London; Writing by Edward McAllister; Editing by Joe
Bavier and Alison Williams)
First Published: 2017-01-12 12:19:13
Updated 2017-01-12 13:59:05
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