African Oil Workers Launch General Strike

The Nigeria Labor Congress launched a general strike on Wednesday in an effort to force the government to reverse a recent decision to increase fuel prices. NUPENG, the blue-collar trade union for workers in the oil industry, has also joined the strike. But the white-collar trade union for the sector, PENGASSAN, is not affiliated to the NLC and has not joined the strike. News of the strike had no immediate effect on international oil markets. The oil companies working in Nigeria reported that oil production has not been affected by the general strike launched. Nigeria is Africa's largest oil producer and the sixth largest in the world, with over two million barrels produced daily. It is also the fifth largest exporter to the United States, accounting for eight percent of the oil imported to the United States.

Any delay or stoppage in oil exports from Nigeria could have an impact on world oil prices, pushing them up. Several oil majors, including Shell, TotalFinaElf, Agip and Texaco, have all stated that production was continuing as normal.