Oil workers under the aegis of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, Mobil Producing Nigeria Branch, have been directed to withdraw their services totally from all locations after talks to resolve a dispute with a subsidiary of United States’ ExxonMobil Corporation failed on Thursday, The Punch reports.

The Chairman, PENGASSAN and NUPENG PIB Committee, Mr. Chika Onuegbu, had earlier on Friday indicated that the union and the oil major had agreed to resolve the dispute and were to sign a communiqué to that effect.Onuegbu later said that the union had escalated its strike “with progressive shut-in of oil wells in Mobil” following the inability of both parties to agree on the communiqué.

Last week, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige, after failed attempts by the government to settle the matter, referred the dispute between PENGASSAN and ExxonMobil to the Industry Arbitration Panel for resolution.