Exxon Mobil To Cut 1,900 US Jobs As Covid-19 Hits Oil Prices

A file photo of Exxon Mobil logo. Source: [email protected]


Exxon Mobil said Thursday it will eliminate 1,900 US jobs as part of a global cost-cutting drive that will shrink its global workforce by about 15 percent over the next two years.

The US oil giant said the hit from the coronavirus pandemic — which has driven oil prices lower — was a factor in the downsizing, which will primarily impact management staff in Houston, through a mix off of voluntary programs and involuntary layoffs.

The US job cuts are “the result of ongoing reorganizations,” the company said, adding “the impact of Covid-19 on the demand for ExxonMobil’s products has increased the urgency of the ongoing efficiency work.”

The latest move is part of the oil giant’s worldwide push to cut costs that will shrink its overall workforce by about 14,000 employee and contractor positions through the end of 2022.

The company about 88,000 workers at the end of 2019, including just under 75,000 employees and around 13,300 contract workers, an ExxonMobil spokesman said.

The company plans to cut about 7,000 employee and 7,000 contract staff between the end of 2019 and the end of 2022, the spokesman said.

US oil prices currently trade below $40 a barrel, more than $15 lower than a year ago. That drop has pressured earnings at oil giants including ExxonMobil, which will release results on Friday.

Shares of ExxonMobil rose 2.2 percent to $32.27 in late-morning trading.


Rivers Govt Releases Exxon Mobil Staff, Drops Charges Against Them

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The Rivers State government has released the 22 staff of Exxon Mobil who were arrested for violating the Executive Order restricting movement in the state.

The Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice in the state, Professor Zaccheus Adangor, confirmed that the oil workers were released on Sunday without charges.

He stated that the state government would no longer press charges against them, adding that they were released following interventions by well-meaning Nigerians.

Professor Adangor said he monitored the release of the 22 Exxon Mobil staff at the state Isolation Centre located at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

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According to him, the state government remains committed to implementing the Executive Order issued to check the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The 22 oil workers were arrested by security operatives in Rivers for entering the state from Akwa Ibom, in violation of the state Executive Order.

The order stipulates that health authorities should ascertain the coronavirus status of those coming into the state.

Exxon Mobil To Invest N13bn In Akwa Ibom Community Projects

File photo


ExxonMobil affiliate, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, on Friday, announced plans to invest up to N13 billion (US$43 million) in three community health, economic empowerment and education projects in Akwa Ibom State in the next 18 months.

The investments amount to one of the largest community investments by any company in Nigeria.

The three projects include a technical skills centre in Ikot Akata, a trauma centre at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital and an engineering complex at the University of Uyo.

In a statement, the Chairman and Managing Director of Mobil Producing Nigeria, Paul McGrath, said: “These investments will provide long-term health, education and economic benefits to many in our communities.

“We continue to work closely with the government of the Akwa Ibom State as part of our commitment to communities where we operate and helping to improve quality of life,” he added.

Also according to him, the technical skills centre will consist of a three-block training complex for critical skills required in oil and gas careers, such as pipeline fabrication, welding, electrical works, chemical lab works, civil works and engineering design.

The centre is expected to train more than 100 students annually.

He also noted that the trauma centre, which is to be housed in a two-floor medical complex, will help reduce mortality rates in major medical emergencies.

The centre will include a resuscitation and burns room, a theatre suite, helipad, ambulance bay and triage area, high dependency and radiology units, mini labs, wards, pharmacy, administrative offices, library, and doctor, call and seminar rooms.

Furthermore, the company stated that the engineering complex, which will be equipped with generators and independent water supply, will feature two floors of workshops, laboratories, a lecture theatre, conference rooms and faculty offices.

It is expected to serve about 2,000 students, mostly from Akwa Ibom State.

NNPC, IOC Sign Cash-Call Exit Agreement

NNPC, IOC, Cash-Call AgreementThe Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and International Oil Companies (IOC) have signed an agreement to exit the Joint Venture Cash-Call Arrangement.

This brings to an end, the NNPC’s counterpart funding for 60% equity shareholding it owns in various oil and gas fields in international and indigenous oil firms.

The agreement was signed on Thursday in Abuja between the national oil company and Shell Petroleum, Nigeria Agip Oil, Total, Chevron and Exxon Mobil.

It is coming barely 24 hours after President Muhammadu Buhari announced that the Federal Government would cut provisions for the Joint Venture Cash-Calls, starting from January 2017.

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, noted that a governance process would be set up with immediate effect, to manage a new funding mechanism that would provide for cost recovery.

The NNPC Group Managing Director, Maikanti Baru, on his part, explained that the exit has set the stage for a review of the cash-call agreement.

He added that it has also created an opportunity for the adoption of a more sustainable funding arrangement with international oil companies’ joint venture operations.

Cash-calls is a counterpart funding the NNPC pays annually for the 60% equity shareholding it owns in various oil and gas fields operated by IOC and indigenous oil firms.

In 2016, underfunding for cash-calls amounted to $2.5 billion, bringing the national oil firm’s total cash-call arrears over the years to $8.5 billion.

Trump Says No New Deals During Presidency

Donald Trump,Donald Trump says his sons will run his businesses during his presidency, but there will be “no new deals”.

After delaying an announcement on how to handle his business interests, he took to Twitter to disclose he would hold a news conference in the near future.

The US president-elect was due to hold a rare press conference on the matter on Thursday.

He has also confirmed the chief executive of Exxon Mobil, Rex Tillerson, as his choice for US Secretary of State.

Mr Trump praised Mr Tillerson as being among the “most accomplished business leaders and international deal-makers” in the world.

Mr Tillerson is said to have a good relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, alarming both Democrats and some Republicans.

The nomination, however, needs Senate approval.

Nigeria’s Oil Production Shows Further Strain

Oil ProductionNigeria’s oil production showed further signs of strain on Thursday as intruders blocked access to Exxon Mobil’s terminal exporting in Qua Iboe, the country’s largest crude stream.

Exxon Mobil said that the terminal continued to operate even as the intruders blocked staff from gaining access from early morning hours.

The incident is the latest in a string of attacks and other problems at the oil infrastructure in Africa’s largest crude producer.

Militant activity in the oil-rich Niger Delta has taken out some 500,000 barrels per day of crude oil production from other companies in Nigeria, pushing oil output in Africa’s largest-producing nation to more than 22-year lows.

Nigeria Faces Likely Oil Output Drop As Exxon Suspends Exports

Gas-flaring_Niger-delta_NigeriaU.S. oil major, Exxon Mobil Corp, says it has suspended exports from Nigeria’s top crude stream.

The suspension has added to economic strains from renewed activities of militants in the Niger Delta region that have cut production to its lowest in decades.

Reuters quoted Exxon Mobil as saying on Friday that it had declared a force majeure – a suspension of deliveries because of events beyond its control – on Nigeria’s Qua Iboe crude oil grade BFO-QUA, and that a portion of production had been curtailed after a drilling rig damaged a pipeline.

Last week, Chevron’s platform in the Delta was attacked by militants.

The outages adds to production problems at two of the other largest crude streams, Bonny Light and Forcados, which have already taken Nigeria’s output to a 22-year low.

Royal Dutch Shell shut a major pipeline earlier this week and declared force majeure on Bonny Light crude exports on Wednesday, while an attack in February on a pipeline also caused it to shut the 250,000 barrels per day Forcados export terminal.

Nigeria’s oil production has fallen to 1.65 million barrels per day (bpd) due to militant attacks, Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun, said on Friday, from 2.2 million bpd.

According to Reuters calculations, if outages at Qua Iboe and other streams are prolonged, Nigerian output could fall to around 1.2 million bpd.

This would be the lowest output since 1970, according to BP’s statistical review.

Nigeria had been Africa’s largest crude exporter with its economy heavily reliant on oil up until this year, when rampant oil theft and corruption has kept production well below capacity.

As a result, Angola has overtaken Nigeria as the continent’s largest producer since March, according to OPEC figures.

Exxon Mobil Donates Equipment To Six Nigerian Universities

exxonOil giant, Exxon Mobil has donated equipment worth 50 million naira to six tertiary institutions in the country through its Universities Partnership Programme (UPP).

The donated items includes: analytical equipments, digital cameras, mosquitoes nets for field trips and the sum of 5.777 million naira to each of the universities.

The beneficiaries includes; Akwa Ibom State University, Anambra State University, University of Jos and Federal University of Technology, Akure. Others are University of Ilorin and Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, Delta.

According to the General Manager, Operations (Technical) of Exxon, Mr Micheal Udoh, the company has since the inception of the program in 2007, provided support worth over one billion naira.

”Since we started the University Partnering Programme in 2007, we have donated vehicles, Geo-sciences equipment to 14 universities, to facilitate Geological fieldwork training and analysis for students.

He said the program is aimed at ensuring that Nigeria stands on equal competitive footing with the best universities in the world in the study of Geo-sciences.

”We commenced this partnership Eight years ago in the area of Geo-sciences education in our collective and determined quest to help advance the quality of education in Nigeria to internationally competitive levels.

“To date, we have committed over N900m to the UPP and our long term goal is to ensure that every public university in Nigeria offering Geo-sciences benefits from the programme.

Commending the company, the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Julius Okojie, asked other companies to emulate the good examples of the company, as the government cannot adequately fund education on its own.

The gesture by the company also received the support and commendation of players in the Geo-sciences sector, such as the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA), the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Ministry of Education.

The beneficiaries also promised to ensure that the equipments are properly used and maintained.

Pirates Kidnap Three In Offshore Bayelsa Attack

Pirates attacked an oil industry supply vessel in Nigerian waters this week and kidnapped three crew members, security sources said on Thursday.

The captain, chief engineer and second engineer were abducted on Monday when gunmen boarded the Malaysia-flagged Armada Tuah 22 around 50 nautical miles (90 km) off the coast of the Brass region in Bayelsa State, three security sources said.

One of the sailors kidnapped was Indonesian, the sources said. The vessel is a tugboat contracted to supply an offshore oil platform. Nigeria’s navy spokesman gave no comment.

A fishing vessel, Orange 7, was attacked on March 2 in a similar position and one of the crew was killed, sources said.

There has been a surge in piracy attacks off the coast of Nigeria this year with gangs showing signs of moving further afield and using more violent tactics.

Oil majors Exxon Mobil and Shell said last month that security was a major factor in making Nigeria one of the most expensive oil-producing countries to operate in.

Oil and shipping companies have to hire crisis management teams, pay higher insurance premiums and face the prospect of ransom payments, as well as brace themselves for damage to their reputations.

The prime suspects for most attacks are Nigerian oil gangs, who already carry out industrial-scale theft of crude oil, known as ‘bunkering’, in the restive onshore Niger Delta swamplands.

Oil Spill: Senate Demands Answers From NOSDRA, Ministry and Exxon Mobil

The Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology has demanded that the National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), the Ministry of Environment and Exxon Mobil immediately furnish it with information on previous oil spill incidence in particular the two most recent oil spills that occurred in Ibeno and Idoho areas of Akwa Ibom state.

In a statement signed by the Chairman Senate Committee on Environment Senator Bukola Saraki, it stated that within the last six weeks, there have been media reports of two oil spills within the precincts of Exxon Mobil Nigeria operations in Akwa Ibom state.

He said there is a growing impression today that majority of the spills are the result of sabotage. However, with the recent spills happening deep offshore, it is becoming evident that there is more to this than meets the eye.

He said no formal report has been made to the committee and general public as to the exact cause, magnitude of the spills, action being taken to clean up and remediate the affected areas and most importantly, arrangement of compensation for the affected communities.

Senator Saraki, decried the frequency of this spills and the lackadaisical attitude of NOSDRA, Ministry of Environment and Exxon Mobil Nigeria to provide necessary and adequate information that will enable the committee have a first-hand assessment of the incident and provide grounds for meaningful action.

Jonathan leaves for New York tomorrow to attend UN assembly

President Goodluck Jonathan will on Sunday lead the Nigeria’s delegation to the 67th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York which has the peaceful resolution of international disputes, a theme as its main focus.

The President of the 67th Assembly, Vuk Jeremic of Serbia announced at its opening on Tuesday that having consulted widely on the matter, he has chosen “bringing about adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations by peaceful means” as the overarching theme for the General Assembly’s work over the next 12 months.

Mr Jonathan had in his 2011 address to the General Assembly called on the international community to muster the political will to promote preventive diplomacy for the peaceful resolution of international disputes through mediation.

“For too long, the international community has focused too little attention on mediation and preventive diplomacy and far too much effort and resources on military aspects of peace and security. Yet, measures to address the root cause of conflict, including dialogue and mediation, can be far more effective as means to achieving sustainable peace and stability.

“As I see it, our goal should always be to present the peaceful alternative as a less costly and effective way of achieving political and social objectives. By focusing on mediation as a tool for conflict prevention, we are able to address the real triggers of conflict, without which we cannot achieve sustainable solutions,” Mr Jonathan had declared in his address to world leaders at the United Nations last year.

A statement issued by Reuben Abati, the Senior Adviser to President Jonathan said those that will be travelling with the president includes Isa Yuguda the governor of Bauchi State, Godswill Akpabio the governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Philip Aduda, Honourable Isa Ashiru Mohammed, as well as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and the Minister of Trade and Investment.

The statement further said that in addition to participating in the 67th Session of the General Assembly, President Jonathan is also scheduled to meet with other world leaders including the Presidents of China, France, South Korea, Brazil, Bulgaria, Finland and Switzerland in New York.

“He will also deliver a statement to the High-Level Meeting on the Rule of Law at the United Nations Headquarters and join the Prime Minister of Norway, Mr. Jens Stoltenberg with whom he currently serves as co-Chairperson of the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children in presenting its report to the Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki Moon.

“President Jonathan will also attend a High-Level Meeting on the Nigerian Economy, meet with the Chairman and top executives of the global oil giant, Exxon-Mobil, attend a reception hosted by President Barack Obama of the United States and the Secretary-General’s High-Level event on the eradication of Polio,” the statement said.

Akwa Ibom: Exxon Mobil says begins oil spill clean-up

ExxonMobil’s said on Tuesday it was helping clean up an oil spill near its facility off the Nigeria’s southeast coast, although the company wasn’t yet sure what caused the leak.

Mobil Producing Nigeria, a joint venture between ExxonMobil and the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), confirmed last week oil had been sighted near Ibeno in Akwa Ibom state but the source was unknown.

Local fishing communities blame Mobil for the spill, which they say has cut off their livelihood.

“Mobil … confirms it is assisting with the clean-up in cooperation with local authorities,” company spokesman Nigel Cookey-Gam said.
“The source of the hydrocarbon remains unknown as fingerprinting of collected samples is ongoing … Mobil remains committed to ensuring that the health and environment of our neighbouring communities are protected.”

Oil spills are common in Africa’s top energy producer and stretches of the Niger Delta, a fragile wetlands environment, are coated in crude. Thousands of barrels are spilled every year and lax enforcement means there are few penalties.

Oil firms say the majority of spills are due to armed oil thieves hacking into or blowing up pipelines to steal crude, an activity they estimate saps nearly a fifth of Nigeria’s output.