Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image

Associated Press: Protesters Overrun, Shut Down Italian Oil Facility In Nigeria

Nov. 6 – Armed protesters overran and shut down an oil facility operated by an Italian oil firm on Monday in the latest violence to hit Africa’s biggest crude producer, government officials and the oil company said.

The protesters invaded the Tebidaba oil pumping station run by Agip in southern Bayelsa State and forced workers to shut it down, said Joshua Benamesia, a security aide to the state governor. Agip is a subsidiary of Italian energy company ENI SpA.

“They shut down the place,” he said by phone from the state capital, Yenagoa. “They always have demands but we don’t have the details of what they want for now.”

In Rome, ENI said 48 people, including workers and security guards, were at the pumping station when the attack occurred, but no injuries were reported.

A senior official from the state environment department said the villagers were demanding restitution for pollution and jobs for community members. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue with reporters.

ENI confirmed that oil production was suspended for security reasons.

It was the second Agip facility to be overrun in recent days and occurred in the same region in which gunmen seized a Briton and an American working for the Norwegian company Petroleum Geo-Services on Thursday. The company had been engaged by San Ramon, Calif.-based oil giant Chevron Corp. to survey the seabed of Nigeria’s southern coast for oil deposits.

The other Agip facility seized in Bayelsa State, Clough Creek, was overrun by protesters in late October. Agip’s parent company in Rome called that protest peaceful and said it had not affected production. The protesters quit the facility on Saturday, Benamesia said.

In related violence, angry villagers in neighboring Rivers State stormed three oil platforms run by Royal Dutch Shell PLC. The facilities were held by protesters for six days.

On Friday, the U.S. Consulate in Nigeria’s main city, Lagos, issued an e-mail circular saying militants were planning a major new wave of attacks and kidnappings over the next few days that could include up to 20 simultaneous bombings across the oil-rich delta region.

Since the beginning of this year, militant groups in Nigeria have attacked oil pipelines and taken expatriate oil workers hostage in violence that has cut about 25 percent of the country’s usual crude output of about 2.5 million barrels daily.

The militants say they are fighting on behalf of an impoverished population for a greater share of wealth from oil companies and the federal government, which apportions the revenues among Nigeria’s 36 states.

Nigerian officials said they have made contact with the kidnappers, and reported the two hostages were in good health. Nigeria is the world’s eighth-biggest oil exporter and fifth-largest source of U.S. oil imports.

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

0 Comments on “Associated Press: Protesters Overrun, Shut Down Italian Oil Facility In Nigeria”

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: