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Militants attack Shell facilities in Nigeria

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AFP: Militants attack Shell facilities in Nigeria

LAGOS (AFP) — Niger Delta militants on Saturday attacked facilities belonging to Anglo-Dutch oil group Shell in southern Bayelsa state leading to a cut in output, company and security sources said.

The anonymous security source said the attack by a previously unknown armed gang led by a “Commander Douglas” affected Shell oil wells and the Diebu creek flowstation at Peremabiri in southern Ijaw area of Bayelsa.

The security source said the oil wells and the inlet manifold and delivery lines of the flowstation were blown up during the attack.

Shell confirmed the attack, the latest to hit Nigeria’s largest oil operator in recent weeks. It however said the incident happened Friday night.

“A few oil delivery lines are affected and some oil has spilled into the environment,” Shell spokesman Precious Okolobo told AFP, adding that the company was mobilising its workers to control the spillage.

Shell, which accounts for around half of Nigeria’s 2.1 million barrels per day output, has been forced to cut production because of an upsurge in militant attacks on its facilities.

Niger delta militant groups, the most prominent among which is the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has sabotaged several supply pipelines owned by Shell and other oil operators in the restive region.

MEND has also promised more attacks on oil targets in the restive region.

The group emerged in early 2006 as the leading group calling for a greater share of Nigeria’s oil revenue for the producer region. As well as attacks on facilities it has been responsible for the seizure of local and expatriate workers as hostages.

Overall, violence in the Niger Delta has reduced Nigeria’s total production by a quarter in the past two years.

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5iKEiq3QMNgyDd9DTJhPyrDX04h5g

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