|[Published: Wednesday July 08 2009]
Mend multiplies threats and attacks on Oil Companies staff
Nigeria, 08 July 2009 – (ANA) - An attack has been launched on a Shell
facility in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region, according to the country’s
Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend). The attack
took place at 3 am local time Sunday on the “Shell wellhead at Cawthorn
Channel One”. It comes after similar attacks on Shell, Chevron and
Agip. The group has been given an ultimatum by Nigerian President Umaru
Yar’Adua to abandon its activities and accept an amnesty by 4 October.
Mend threatened to thwart a planned pipeline, which is to run over
4,000 kilometres and carry gas from the Niger delta, through Niger and
on to Algeria. The pipeline, worth seven billion euros, is to serve the
European market and the first delivery is scheduled for 2015.
Russia's Gazprom has expressed an interest in the pipeline project.
Last week it signed an agreement with Nigeria’s National Petroleum
Company, setting up a joint project in oil, gas processing and
“Any money put into the project will go down the drain as we will
ensure that it faces the same fate other pipelines are facing today,”
said Mend in a statement.
The Joint Task Force (JTF), the group in charge of protecting oil
companies and personnel in the region, said that Mend was “merely
ranting” and could n
ot succeed in its aim.
Nigeria’s oil production has dropped by almost a third since 2006 and
now stands at 1.8 million barrels a day. Mend began violent attacks in
the Niger delta in 2006, saying they were seeking a greater share of
the region’s oil wealth to be redistributed to the local population.
SL/ANA/08 July 2009 ---