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Nigeria foils attack on Shell crew in oil delta

 

Reuters

Nigeria foils attack on Shell crew in oil delta

Thu May 22, 2008 5:55pm BST

PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria, May 22 (Reuters) – Nigerian security forces have foiled an attack on a maintenance crew heading to a Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L:QuoteProfileResearch) oilfield in the Niger Delta, company and army officials said on Thursday.

 

The crew was on its way to the Alakiri oilfield in Okrika district of Rivers state when it was attacked by gunmen, who were later repelled by a security patrol team in the area, a Shell spokesman said.

“The crew has since returned safely to base,” the spokesman said. He neither gave details of the nature of maintenance work the crew was meant to be undertaking nor of the field’s output.

A spokesman for the military taskforce overseeing security in Rivers state said the patrol team killed two gunmen and recovered 3 AK-47 rifles, 122 rounds of ammunition, dynamite and a passenger boat from the attackers.

Attacks on oil facilities are frequent in the Niger Delta, where militant groups launched a violent campaign in 2006 to press for greater local control of oil revenues, but there is a thin line between militancy and criminality.

The Alakiri oilfield near Port Harcourt, the eastern delta’s main city, lies about 80 nautical miles north of Bonny, where Shell is trying to repair facilities sabotaged by militants last month.

Two of the four damages on Bonny Light oil facilities, which shut in about 164,000 barrels per day output and caused Shell to declare a force majeure, have been repaired. Repair work is on at the third location, but the security situation at the fourth was still a concern, Shell said on Wednesday. (For full Reuters Africa coverage and to have your say on the top issues, visit: africa.reuters.com/ ) (Reporting by Austin Ekeinde and Tume Ahemba; Editing by Nick Tattersall)

 

 

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