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Niger Delta militants attack Chevron oil pipeline

“Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), operator of the NNPC/CNL Joint Venture, confirms that there was a breach on the Makaraba-Utonana-Abiteye pipeline and fire at its Makaraba…

“Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), operator of the NNPC/CNL Joint Venture, confirms that there was a breach on the Makaraba-Utonana-Abiteye pipeline and fire at its Makaraba Jacket 5 facility in Delta State that occurred on Friday June 12, 2009,” a statement said.

“Our workforce is safe, relevant stakeholders have been informed and we are continuing to assess the situation and work to restore the integrity of the facility which had been shut down before the incident.”

On Friday, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) said it had blown up “…a major gas pipeline manifold and another major crude oil pipeline belonging to Chevron JV recently repaired at a sum of over 56 million dollars.”

It warned its fighters were heading to the Chevron tank farm in Escravos and urged staff to flee.

MEND, which has staged numerous attacks on international oil facilities in southern Nigeria as part of its campaign to get what it calls a fairer distribution of the region’s oil wealth to local people, declared last weekend a new campaign against oil companies.

A MEND attack last month knocked out a Chevron pipeline, forcing a 100,000 barrel-per-day oil output cut, over one quarter of the company’s Nigerian production. On Friday the group released a British oil sector worker who had been held for nine months.

(AFP)