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Bloomberg: Transocean Says Oil-Rig Ship Attacked by Militants Off Nigeria

By Alaric Nightingale and Paul Okolo

April 20 (Bloomberg) — Transocean Inc., the world’s largest offshore oil and gas driller, said a ship supporting one of its oil rigs was attacked off the coast of Nigeria by militants.

The vessel was attacked yesterday while supporting the Trident 8 jack-up rig, Guy Cantwell, a spokesman for Transocean Inc., said today by telephone from Houston.

No hostages were taken from the ship, he said. Earlier, Reuters reported three hostages were taken, citing people it didn’t identify.

Militants in the Niger Delta, who’ve kidnapped dozens of oil workers and halted almost a quarter of the nation’s oil production, pledged today to continue their campaign for control of the region’s resources before tomorrow’s presidential election.

The Nigerian navy denied earlier a report from Reuters that it operated the ship. Capt. Obiora Medani, a spokesman for the Nigerian Navy, said by telephone from Abuja today that the vessel is owned by Conoil Plc, the country’s fourth-largest fuel retailer and operator of the rig.

Conoil’s company’s Chief Executive Officer Ebi Omatsola wasn’t available for comment.

To contact the reporters on this story: Alaric Nightingale in London at [email protected] ; Paul Okolo in Lagos via Johannesburg on [email protected]
Last Updated: April 20, 2007 12:44 EDT

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