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…Firm cautions PENGASSAN on today’s picketing
By Adewale Sanyaolu
The management of Neconde Energy Limited, a member of the Obijackson Group and operator of the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 42 NNPC joint venture, has raised the alarm over threat to its $558 million asset acquired from Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in 2012.
Addressing the media in Lagos yesterday, Managing Director of Neconde Energy Limited, Mr. Frank Edozie, said the company has been hinted of plans by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) to picket it over issues relating to severance package.
Edozie explained that in March 2016, Neconde and PENGASSAN entered into agreement on welfare issues, including increased severance package, transfer and 13th month allowance with a caveat that the agreement will only be implemented once production hits 70,000 barrels per day (bpd). He however expressed surprise that despite the fact that the current production level remained at 15,000 bpd, PENGASSAN in alliance with some workers of Neconde has concluded arrangement to picket the company today.
The Neconde boss explained that a component of its strategic goal for the year to achieve the 70,000bpd target has led it to develop “barged production” as an alternative to crude evacuation using the Trans Forcados Pipeline which has been out of service since February 13, 2016.
We have also undertaken some strategic steps, such as rehabilitation of Batan and Odidi Flow Stations to ensure the achievement of our targeted peak gross production rate, revamping of Jones Creek and Egwa Fields for workover of existing wells and development of other infrastructure which includes refurbishing a gas Central Processing Facility (CPF) in Odidi as well as commencement of re-entry of Odidi, Jones Creek fields Egwa 1 & 2”.
Despite the idle state of the asset, he said the company has remained committed to workers welfare and prompt the payment of salaries, especially during the period when oil prices remained at its lowest ebb.
“Additionally, we had to relocate our operations to Warri from Lagos, to enable us to be closer to the base to better meet our goals of increasing our contributions to the Nigerian economy.
Expectedly, this relocation meant redeployment of employees to the new location, and this was executed in a manner that the associated inconveniences to employees were duly considered and properly mitigated”.
We are currently in talks with the leadership of PENASSAN to ensure that we reach a mutually beneficial agreement on some of the demands presented by the association.
The management provided the association with an update and called for a meeting to discuss any remaining potential areas that may still exist.
So far, management and the company have enjoyed their co-operation and hoped that the association will continue to abide by best-in-class labour union practices by exploring negotiation and collaboration as labour relations tactics,”.
Edozie maintained that, Neconde an indigenous exploration and production company with strong management and extensive in-country experience, is fully aware of the challenges facing the sector, and as a key Nigerian player, its goals and aspirations include creating value from every constituent of stakeholder network which includes employees and host communities.