Nigeria arrests six over pipeline attacks, destroys two mini refineries


Nigeria has arrested six people alleged to have attacked oil pipelines and has also destroyed two illegal refineries in the oil-producing southern Delta region, the country’s navy said on Thursday.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to crack down on groups attacking pipelines or other oil facilities in the Delta region, which produces much of Nigeria’s oil.

The militants, like other Delta residents, demand a greater share of oil revenues.

The six people, alleged to have been running a warehouse to store illegally refined products, were arrested in Rivers state, the navy said in a statement.

The navy also said it had destroyed two illegal refineries and a boat used to smuggle stolen crude in Delta state.

Buhari has sent army reinforcements to the Delta to stop pipeline attacks, which have been on the rise since authorities issued an arrest warrant in January for a former militant leader on corruption charges.

Last month, gunmen blew up an oil pipeline belonging to Italy’s ENI in the Delta, killing three workers, according to officials.

In February, militants staged an underwater attack on a Shell pipeline, shutting down the 250,000 barrel-a-day Forcados export terminal.

Buhari has extended a multi-million dollar amnesty signed with militants in 2009, but he has upset them by ending generous pipeline protection contracts.