Exxon Mobil said on Wednesday it had temporarily cut back production at its unit in Chad and reduced staffing in the country to essential personnel following worker protests against a proposed sale of its stake in the Doba oilfield.
Local workers have held strikes and protests since June over Exxon’s talks with UK-based Savannah Energy to sell its 40% stake in the field and its 40% interest in the Chad-Cameroon oil transportation pipeline.
The workers say Exxon has refused to guarantee they would be paid severance benefits if the concession is sold to another company and they are laid off.
“For the safety and security of our employees and contractors, ExxonMobil’s affiliate, Esso Exploration and Production Chad, has temporarily shut-in its production site and reduced staffing in N’Djamena to essential personnel,” the company said in a statement.
The Doba field produced gross 33,700 barrels of oil per day (bopd) on average last year.