The impasse between oil workers’ union, Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN and American multinational, Exxon Mobil has ended.

PENGASSAN has suspended the strike it called against the oil major in its Rivers State branch.

The union had earlier called for the shutdown of operations of the oil giant on Friday.

"The strike has been suspended," said Chika Onuegbu, who represents PENGASSAN in Rivers state.

Onuegbu and another senior PENGASSAN official, who also confirmed the suspension, said the move followed a ruling by an industrial arbitration panel.

PENGASSAN'S chairman in the Port Harcourt zone, Azubike M Azubike, later said the industrial action had not been suspended elsewhere in the country.

"The strike is still on nationwide, especially in Exxon Mobil facilities across Nigeria. We are still talking with Exxon Mobil management," he said.

Nigerian labour unions have held several strikes in the last few months over the dismissal of oil industry workers.

The latest industrial action was in protest at the sacking of 150 workers in December, of which 82 were PENGASSAN members.

Strikes by Exxon workers in Nigeria at the end of last year did affect output, delaying loadings by weeks.