Shell’s 60,000 barrels per day production has been shut-in for 11 days by the strike over working conditions at its Gamba site, but company officials were able to run small volumes of oil through its facilities on Monday to prevent any blockages.
"Some vital equipment has been restarted on Monday to prevent damage to our infrastructure," Shell Gabon said in a statement.
Some 30,000 barrels a day of production from French oil companies Total and Perenco, which passes through the Gamba terminal, has also been affected.
The strike threatened to spread after workers at Marathon Oil served a five-day notice on Friday for a possible strike in solidarity with their Shell colleagues.
The National Organisation of Petroleum Workers (ONEP) has threatened to call a national strike if a deal is not reached with Shell on workers’ bonuses and holidays. An ONEP delegation is due to meet President Omar Bongo on Tuesday to discuss the situation.
"After the interview we will meet in the afternoon to decide on what action to take : to launch a call or not for a general strike in the oil sector," said ONEP spokesman Arnaud Engandji.
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.
Shell Gabon’s Managing Director Hans Bakker said on Thursday he agreed to union demands on overtime but union representatives say they want to see concrete measures before they will stop their strike.
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