Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image

Forbes / Associated Press: Gunmen Target Oil Companies in Nigeria

By KATHARINE HOURELD 07.09.07, 10:21 AM ET

Gunmen attacked two oil installations in southern Nigeria, kidnapping two senior Nigerian employees of Royal Dutch Shell PLC and two foreigners, security officials and colleagues said Monday.

Late Sunday night, gunmen in speedboats attacked a facility on Calabar River and kidnapped two foreign employees, two security contractors said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to the press.

Sunday night’s attack coincided with the release of Margaret Hill, a British toddler whose father works for an energy company. The 3-year-old was the first foreign child to be kidnapped in the restive Niger river delta region, which has seen about 150 foreigners seized this year.

The raids have become so commonplace that sometimes it takes days to hear of them.

The Shell facility near the southern town of Bugama was attacked Saturday, but Shell employees said the incident was slow in being reported to security personnel.

Fifteen people were first held in the Bugama attack, but 13 were later released after negotiations, said the two Shell employees. They asked for anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the press.

Some hostages are taken by militant groups demanding a greater share of oil revenue and political rights for their impoverished region, a vast wetland the size of Scotland.

Others are seized by criminal groups seeking large cash ransoms.

A series of kidnappings and bombings have cut production in Africa’s largest oil exporter by about a quarter, helping drive up oil prices worldwide. Attacks have worsened since April’s elections, which were widely condemned as fraudulent by international observers.

Despite producing tens of billions of dollars (euros) worth of crude every year, most of Nigeria remains mired in poverty. Berlin-based watchdog Transparency International rates Nigeria rates as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

Associated Press Writers Dulue Mbachu and Dan Udoh contributed to this report from Port Harcourt.

Copyright 2007 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 “Forbes / Associated Press: Gunmen Target Oil Companies in Nigeria”

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: