Posted by News Express | 6 May 2016 | 3,283 times
Militants in the Niger Delta yesterday blew up the Chevron Valve Platform located on the high sea near Escravos in Warri, Delta State in a renewed attack on oil installations in the country.
The attack is another setback to the nation’s oil and gas production sector, even as the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) is still working to restore the Forcados export terminals after a similar attack two months ago.
Nigerian Navy spokesperson, Chris Ezekobe, who confirmed the incident yesterday, said the attack occurred about 40 nautical miles from the Escravos terminal, around the city of Warri.
Ezekobe said he was yet to know which militant group was responsible and there were no immediate details of any casualties.
The development may further reduce the nation’s oil and gas output. But Chevron is yet to confirm if production has been halted at Escravos and how much of the process is affected.
A source at Chevron who confirmed the attack said that the company is working on a public statement, which was not ready as at press time.
It was learnt that the facility was completely destroyed with the use of a dynamite.
The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), a new militant group, has claimed responsibility for the attack, warning that the deployment of soldiers in the region would not deter them from carrying out further attacks.
NDA threatened not to relent until it cripples the nation’s economy.
A statement by the group’s spokesman, Madoch Agbinibo, noted: “The high command of the Niger Delta Avengers wants to use this medium to thank Strike Team 6 for successfully blowing up the Chevron Valve Platform. And we are ready to protect the Niger Delta people.
“This is what we promised the Nigerian government. Since they refused to listen to us we are going to zero the economy of the country.
“As for zeroing the Nigerian economy, the Niger Delta Avengers is done with the Niger Delta major oil installations. Now, we are taking the fight out of the creeks of the Niger Delta. We are taking it to Abuja and Lagos now,” he said.
Agbinibo continued: “We want to pass this message to the all international oil companies operating in the Niger Delta that the Nigeria military cannot protect their facilities. They should talk to the Federal Government to meet our demands else more mishap will befall their installations.”
The group had earlier claimed responsibility for the attack on the Forcados 48-inch Export Pipeline two months ago.
An attack was launched early this year on Escravos Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) connected to Chevron Nigeria Limited’s gas network at Escravos. This negatively impacted gas supply to some critical power projects.
The Federal Ministry of Power said the attack cut off the supply of 160 million metres standard cubic feet per day (MMSCD) of gas to operators of electricity generation facilities and a cut in power supply from the affected power plants.
•Excerpted from a Guardian report. Photo shows the Chevron Valve Platform located on the high sea near Escravos in Warri, Delta State, after being blown up by Niger Delta militants yesterday.
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