Oil and gas workers in southern Nigeria downed tools on Tuesday over the alleged non-payment of salaries, with the walk-out hitting production and threatening electricity supplies.
At least 12 flow, compressor and pumping stations operated by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) in Delta state were affected by the industrial action, the workers said.
A shut-down of the facilities was likely, affecting oil and gas production that has already been hit by a wave of militant attacks on infrastructure over the last year.
That in turn could shut off supplies to the Utorogu natural gas plant, which is one of the biggest in the country, with a knock-on effect on domestic power provision.
Protester Omonena Pascal told AFP they had contacted NPDC staff last week about the walk-out and that they “would not go back to our duty posts till our demands are met”.
There was no immediate response from the company, which is a subsidiary of the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Nigeria, an OPEC member and one of Africa’s biggest oil producers, has seen its economy battered by the fall in global crude prices as well as militant attacks on infrastructure in the south.
The rebels want a fairer share of revenue from the sector for local people, most of whom still live in dire poverty despite the billions of dollars generated over the years from oil sales.