Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image

AP Worldstream: Nigerian militants say will release kidnapped oil workers soon

Militants holding four foreign hostages in Nigeria claimed Sunday they would release the captives soon, according to a statement purportedly from the militant group.
The hostages _ an American, a Briton, a Bulgarian and a Honduran _ were seized near a Shell oil field on Jan. 11 by a group that also claimed responsibility for other oil industry attacks that have cut Nigerian production by almost 10 percent.
“We promise that they would soon join their families, hale and hearty enough to tell the true story of a revolution,” the statement e-mailed to The Associated Press said.
The identity of the e-mail's authors could not be independently confirmed and no name was attached to it. But the statement came from an e-mail address known to be used by the Movement for the Emancipation of the People of the Niger Delta, which has claimed responsibility for a serious of recent attacks on the country's oil industry.
On Saturday, the group's leader told the AP by telephone that American hostage Patrick Landry was sick and warned that if he dies, his group would kill the remaining hostages.
The militants are demanding the release of two imprisoned figureheads of their ethnic Ijaw group and have threatened more attacks on oil facilities. They claim to be fighting for a greater local share of oil wealth they believe is being unfairly snapped up by foreign companies and the federal government.
One day after the four oil workers were seized, a major Shell pipeline leading to its Forcados export terminal was blown up the following day, and more attacks followed in other areas.
Shell _ the largest oil producer in OPEC member Nigeria _ has evacuated hundreds of workers from the Niger delta since the unrest began. The company has cut off production amounting to nearly 10 percent of Nigeria's crude output.
On Friday, the U.S. State Department called for the release of the four captives, while a British diplomat said his country was pressing Nigeria not to use force to free them.
The militants are demanding the government release militia leader Mujahid Dokubo-Asari and former Bayelsa Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha. They are also demanding US$1.5 billion (A1.2 million) in compensation from Shell for alleged environmental damage.
Dokubo-Asari was jailed in September on treason charges, while Alamieyeseigha faces extradition to Britain, after jumping bail there on charges of money laundering.
The kidnapped workers are employed by two companies contracted by Shell in the delta: Britain's Ecodrill and Tidewater of Louisiana.
Nigeria, Africa's leading oil producer, exports 2.5 million barrels of oil daily and is the fifth-biggest source of U.S. oil imports.
The crisis, along with concern over the Iranian nuclear dispute and new threats of attacks on the United States by al-Qaida, has helped push world oil prices up. On Friday, light, sweet crude for February delivery rose 54 cents (A0.45) to US$67.35 (A55.81) a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange by afternoon in Europe. and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

0 Comments on “AP Worldstream: Nigerian militants say will release kidnapped oil workers soon”

Leave a Comment

Comment Rules

  • Please show respect to the opinions of others no matter how seemingly far-fetched.
  • Abusive, foul language, and/or divisive comments may be deleted without notice.
  • Each blog member is allowed limited comments, as displayed above the comment box.
  • Comments must be limited to the number of words displayed above the comment box.
  • Please limit one comment after any comment posted per post.

%d bloggers like this: