Nigeria’s crude oil export suffered another attack on Thursday night, as rampaging renegade militia attacked a pipeline belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) around Batan community, Warri South-West council area of Delta State.
The Thursday night’s attack was the second in one week, as it came less than 24 hours after the attack on two Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) facilities, which had reportedly grounded the multinational company’s entire swamp operations in the state.
Already, the insurgent group, the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), which had claimed responsibility for virtually all the attacks on oil and gas installations in the Niger Delta area, has already claim responsibility for the latest act.
The group also rejected the call for dialogue, pointing out that it was out to secure self rule for the Niger Delta people, even as it described the stakeholders’ meeting as an insult to the people of the oil-rich region, threatening more devious actions.
In a brief message sent out yesterday via email, the Niger Delta Avengers stated that it destroyed the trunkline belonging to the NNPC at about 11:45pm at a location close to Warri, failing to name a specific location.
“At 11:45pm on Thursday, the troops of the Niger Delta Avengers blew up other NNPC gas and crude trunkline close to Warri. Pipeline that was heavily guarded by military”, the message said.
Two stakeholders in the area, an environmental activist, Comrade Sheriff Mulade and the Spokesperson of the Ijaw Youths Congress (IYC), Comrade Eric Omare, both confirmed the development.
While Mulade noted that there was confusion on the exact point of strike, Omare categorically placed the incident at the back of Batan community.
“There was an explosion at about 11:15pm, but we have not been able to ascertain the exact point. It’s was around this area, we have two information; one says it was around Bennet Island, the other says it was Batan. We need to be very concrete with our information”, Mulade said.
But Comrade Eric Omare confirmed the place where the incident occurred is at the back of Batan, Warri South-West. I think the facility should belong to NNPC”.
Although there was no official security confirmation of the incident, as none of the top security operatives who could make comments on it were unavailable, a reliable senior naval officer confirmed that an explosion had been recorded close to Egwa 1 area, which is the oil fields Batan community belongs to.
The insurgent group, which has in recent times cost Nigeria’s crude oil output and gas production huge losses, yesterday threatened more devious actions and rejected dialogue in a tweeted message.
“The Niger Delta stakeholders’ meeting is an insult to the people of the Niger Delta. What we need is a sovereign state, not pipeline contracts. To IOCs, Indigenous Oil Companies and the Nigerian military; watch out, something big is about to happen and it will shock the whole world”, it said.