- The US giant oil company said it has opened an investigation into an alleged attack on one of its facilities in Nigeria’s oil rich Niger Delta state.
Nigeria’s main militant group in the Delta, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) said it had destroyed Chevron Corp.’s Abiteye oil-pumping station in the Niger River delta, claiming a third attack on the company’s facilities in the past three days.
Chevron's corporate media advisor Scott Walker said the company would not speculate on any comment while investigations are being undertaken by the company on the alleged attack. Chevron had in late May halted operations in the swamps of the western delta, where Abiteye is located.
MEND issued a statement saying it had attacked the company’s oil infrastructure at about 2 am local time today which resulted in a massive fire outbreak that is consuming the entire facility, further saying it blew up two other structures.
The spokesman for the group, Jomo Gbomo said aims to destroy all oil infrastructure in the region, home to Africa’s biggest oil industry.
Meanwhile, MEND also threatened it plans to escalate the fighting by carrying out attacks in the country’s mainly Muslim north. It called on FIFA, the world governing body for major international soccer tournaments, to reconsider a plan to hold the Under-17 World Cup in Nigeria, saying the safety of players and spectators cannot be guaranteed.
The fighting in the Delta, has intensified since the military started an offensive last month against armed groups. Militant attacks have cut the country’s crude output by more than 20 percent since 2006.
MEND, which is demanding a greater share of the region’s oil wealth for local communities, also claimed responsibility for assaults on Chevron’s Makaraba and Utonana oil-pumping stations in the past three days.
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