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Nigerian rebels target Agip

News24.com: Nigerian rebels target Agip

“Despite fighting in the area, Shell said there has been no disruption to its production and exports. Shell accounts for roughly half of Nigeria’s daily exports of 2.5 million barrels. Companies fear a repeat of last year’s uprising by members of the Ijaw tribe, which forced them to temporarily shut 40% of the 2.5 million barrel daily output.”

Posted 26 Sept 04

Rome – The Italian oil group Eni said on Sunday that it would continue operations in Nigeria, despite reported threats by a militant group, and denied that its helicopters had been used for military purposes.

“We have no reason to believe that our employees or installations are in danger,” said a spokesperson for the group, which operates in Nigeria through a subsidiary, Agip.

He said production activity was normal.

A local warlord, Mujahid Dokubo-Asari accused Agip of lending helicopters to the military to spy on rebel positions.

Eni denied it.

“Helicopters used in the region are used exclusively for Eni activities,” the spokesperson insisted.

Dokubo-Asari vowed on Sunday that his group would extend its uprising across the whole of the country’s oil-producing southern delta in an attempt to force political reforms.

Nigeria’s oil region is riven by insecurity, notably the Niger Delta, as gangs fight for control of waterways and oil resources.

Clashes between troops and militia fighters already forced oil giant Royal Dutch/Shell to evacuate two oil facilities in Nigeria’s southern oil region.

The company said on Friday the evacuation was “just a precautionary safety measure” prompted by clashes near the Soku gas platform and the Ekulama oil pumping station.

Despite fighting in the area, Shell said there has been no disruption to its production and exports. Shell accounts for roughly half of Nigeria’s daily exports of 2.5 million barrels.

Companies fear a repeat of last year’s uprising by members of the Ijaw tribe, which forced them to temporarily shut 40% of the 2.5 million barrel daily output.

Army spokesperson Captain Ogbonna Kanu confirmed a military “task force” was conducting an offensive against militia fighters around Sombreiro River but couldn’t give any details.

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