Nigerian rebels attack Shell pipeline
Anglo-Dutch oil giant Royal Dutch Shell on Tuesday confirmed an overnight attack on one of its pipelines in southern Nigeria.
“We can confirm that a section of the Greater Port Harcourt Swamp Line at Bakana, Rivers state, was attacked last night [Monday],” Shell spokesperson Precious Okolobo said, without giving any further details.
Earlier on Tuesday, a Nigerian rebel group and the army gave conflicting versions of the incident.
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend) said it had blown up and destroyed the pipeline in the latest attack in its “oil war” on Western firms.
“A major crude oil pipeline at Bakana Front in Degema Local Government Area ... was destroyed with high explosives by Mend detonation engineers backed by heavily armed fighters,” Mend said in an email statement to the media.
Mend has already attacked a Shell flow station since declaring its war on Sunday. It attacked a Chevron facility hours before the declaration.
Bakana is in Rivers state, the heart of the oil region. The two earlier attacks on Shell’s Alakiri flow station and on a Chevron facility at Robertkiri are in the same state.
A Nigerian army officer, however, said Monday night’s attack on the Shell installation was repelled.
“Soldiers sighted the militants in time and confronted them so they dropped their explosives, which detonated,” said Lieutenant Colonel Musa Sagir, spokesperson for the unit of the Nigerian army tasked with policing the Niger Delta.—Sapa-AFP