An attack by suspected Nigerian militants on a Chevron oil pipeline in the Niger Delta on Friday shut down around 10,000 barrels per day of output, a company source said on Monday.
Reuters says the pipeline running from the Abiteye flow station near Warri in Delta state was attacked in the early hours of Friday morning, according to Colonel Rabe Abubakar, spokesman for the military taskforce in the western Niger Delta.
He said the strike had resulted in leakage into four communities in the area.
“There was an incident last week … The amount of shut-in production is around 10 000 barrels per day,” a source at Chevron told Reuters, asking not to be named.
Abubakar said the attackers were believed to have defected from the camp of militant leader Government Tompolo, who is based in Delta state.
“The group had threatened to continue with their attacks on installations and facilities unless they receive gratification from the multinationals,” Abubakar said.
“This threat will not be allowed to continue.”
Attacks on pipelines and industry installations are common in the Niger Delta, home to Africa’s biggest oil and gas industry. The unrest has shut down more than a fifth of Nigerian oil output over the past three years.
Some attacks are carried out by militants who say they are fighting for a fairer share of the natural wealth, others by criminal gangs engaged in a multi-million-dollar trade in stolen oil. The crude is transported on barges to tankers waiting off Nigeria’s coast before being mixed in with legitimate cargo.
Security experts say groups of local community youths, frustrated by poverty and a lack of job opportunities, also sabotage pipelines in the hope of winning repair contracts.