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Reuters: CHRONOLOGY-Nigerian militants’ attacks on oil, gas industries

Wed 7 Jun 2006 7:44 AM ET

June 7 (Reuters) – Militants attacked a natural gas plant operated by Royal Dutch Shell in Nigeria’s southern delta on Wednesday, killing at least four soldiers and kidnapping five South Korean contractors.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), which launched a series of attacks earlier this year that forced the closure of a quarter of Nigerian oil output, threatened strikes on crucial oil facilities in the next few weeks.

Following is a chronology of some major attacks on the Nigerian oil industry in 2006.

— Jan. 10 – Militants kidnap four oil workers at gunpoint from Shell’s offshore E.A. oilfield. Shell shuts 115,000 bpd E.A. platform.

— Militants also blow up major crude oil pipeline, cutting supplies to Forcados export terminal by 100,000 bpd.

— Jan. 30 – Militants free the four hostages but threaten a new wave of attacks.

— Feb. 18 – Militants in speedboats storm a barge operated by U.S. oil services company Willbros and abduct nine workers.

They also blow up a Shell crude oil pipeline and a gas pipeline operated by state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., and bomb Shell’s Forcados tanker loading platform, forcing the firm to suspend exports from the 380,000 bpd facility. Closure of Forcados impacts other companies, cutting a further 100,000 bpd output. Shell shuts 115,000 bpd E.A. platform as precaution.

— March 1 – Militants release six of the hostages: one American, two Egyptians, two Thais and a Filipino.

— March 18 – Attackers blow up oil pipeline operated by Italian company Agip, shutting down 75,000 bpd. MEND says it was not involved.

— March 27 – Militants release remaining three hostages, two Americans and a Briton.

— May 10 – A U.S. oil executive employed by Baker Hughes is killed in an apparently targeted attack in Port Harcourt.

— May 11 – An Italian is among three workers, employees of Italian oil contractor Saipem who are kidnapped from a car.

— June 2 – Six Britons, one Canadian and one U.S. citizen are abducted from the Bulford Dolphin oil rig about 40 miles off the coast of southern Nigeria overnight. The exploration rig is owned by Norwegian oilfield services group Fred. Olsen Energy. They are released two days later.

— June 7 – Militants attack a Shell-operated natural gas facility in the Niger Delta, killing at least five soldiers and kidnapping five South Korean contractors. MEND says Koreans will be freed in exchange for a militia leader on trial for treason and denied bail by a Nigerian court. 

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