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Gabon oil workers threaten 15-day strike at Total facilities

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Gabon’s oil workers’ union ONEP plans to launch a 15-day strike at the facilities of French oil firm Total on Sunday if its demands are not met for higher pay and other benefits, it said in a letter to Total Gabon.

In the letter dated on Monday and seen by Reuters, ONEP also demanded new bonuses for employees, increased career advancement opportunities and a reduction in the number of foreign workers.

A Total spokeswoman had no immediate comment.

The strike would affect all of Total’s facilities in Gabon, including in the capital Libreville and oil hub of Port Gentil.

The threat of strike action follows the company’s failure to respond to the union’s earlier demands made in May, the letter said.

The Central African nation produces about 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude, according to the U.S.

Energy Information Administration, but output from the OPEC member’s aging fields has plummeted from a 1997 peak of 370,000 bpd.

A steep fall in oil prices in 2014 and 2015 choked much needed revenue and forced companies to layoff thousands of oil workers.

Total produces about 54,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in Gabon.

Gabon’s proven oil reserves were estimated at 2.0 billion barrels (320×106 m3) in 2015, and its proven natural gas reserves were estimated at 1.0 trillion cubic feet (28 km3).

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