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Nigerian Militants Claim Attack on Shell Oil Pipeline (Update2)

Bloomberg: Nigerian Militants Claim Attack on Shell Oil Pipeline (Update2)

By Dulue Mbachu

April 25 (Bloomberg) — Armed militants fighting in Nigeria’s southern oil region said they sabotaged a pipeline belonging to Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta’s fighters blasted the oil pipeline at Kula in Rivers state at about 10:18 p.m. local time, according to an e-mailed statement from the group, known as MEND, received today in Lagos, the commercial capital. Precious Okolobo, Shell’s spokesman in Nigeria, has no information on the group’s claim and is trying to confirm the incident, he said in an interview today.

MEND has stepped up attacks on pipelines in Nigeria’s oil- rich Niger Delta in recent weeks as part of what it says is a campaign to cripple the nation’s crude exports. The country, which pumped 1.96 million barrels a day in March, is Africa’s leading oil producer. About half of its shipments go to the U.S.

“Our candid advice to the oil majors is that they should not waste their time repairing any lines as we will continue to sabotage them,” Mend spokesman Jomo Gbomo said in the statement. “We have time on our side and there is so much to be destroyed.”

MEND has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks that have cut more than 20 percent of oil exports from Nigeria.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dulue Mbachu in Lagos via Johannesburg at [email protected]

Last Updated: April 25, 2008 05:15 EDT

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