Militants launch attacks on Shell's Nigerian installations

Uchenna Izundu
OGJ International Editor

LONDON, June 23 -- Nigerian militants have launched three attacks on installations in the Niger Delta belonging to Royal Dutch Shell PLC to increase pressure on the government and the oil companies to share greater oil revenues with their communities.

Shell said it had begun to investigate the sabotage that occurred on June 21, but declined to report whether it had shut in production. Reports from Nigeria suggest it could be 125,000 b/d.

“We are investigating the impact on the installations, environment, and production,” a company spokesman told OGJ.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) claimed responsibility for the damage to Shell's pipelines at Adamakiri, Kula, both in Rivers State, and an oil field in shallow water, which they said was “engulfed in fire.”

MEND has called its campaign “Hurricane Piper Alpha” and has identified targets in oil producing states Bayelsa and Rivers, before shifting to Ondo, Edo, and Akwa Ibom.

This incident builds upon an earlier attack on Shell’s Trans Ramos pipeline at Aghoro-2 community in Bayelsa State, forcing the company to stop oil production.

MEND also told Chevron Corp. that it would suffer, accusing the company of allowing the Nigerian military use one of its air strips for jet fighters.

“By allowing its facilities to be used in committing atrocities against the host communities where it drills oil and gas from, Chevron has repeated the same mistake by Shell against the Ogoni communities and will pay a price in double measure,” the group warned.

On June 19, Eni SPA shut in 33,000 b/d of oil and 80 MMscfd of gas production from a pipeline supplying the Brass export terminal in the Niger Delta due to MEND’s sabotage.

The incident happened between June 18-19 on the 24-in. pipeline Ogoda manifold-Brass terminal in Bayelsa state.

Eni said that it lost equity production of 6,000 b/d of oil and 16 MMcfd of gas.

According to data published recently by the Department of Petroleum Resources, Nigeria has lost over 1 million b/d of oil production because of the crisis in the Niger Delta.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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