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Gabon Oil Sector Strike Hasn't Hurt Output

Source: Reuters 3/12/2013, Location: Africa

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Oil majors Total and Royal Dutch Shell said a three-day-old strike by the oil workers' union in Gabon has not affected their operations, despite union reports to the contrary.

"The strike has been marginal, only a handful of workers are participating in it," Mathurin Mengue-Bibang, a spokesman for Total in Gabon, said on Tuesday.

"Our operations are ongoing, a ship was loaded at our Cape Lopez terminal and it departed today," Mengue-Bibang said by telephone from Gabon.

A spokesman for Shell also said from London its operations in the central African country had not been affected. The two companies dominate Gabon's roughly 240,000 barrels per day crude oil sector.

The powerful ONEP oil workers' union said on Saturday it had begun an open-ended strike to demand the application of a 2010 agreement, signed by the government, guaranteeing better labour terms and greater use of Gabonese staff.

A spokesman for ONEP said a majority of its nearly 5,000 members were respecting the strike action, which had led to a shutdown of operations at several oilfields including at least three belonging to Total.

Mengue-Bibang said he was not aware of any work stoppage at any of Total's fields.

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