Militants bombed a state-run oil pipeline in southern Nigeria Monday causing massive spills, in the latest attack on the country’s oil infrastructure, said an industry official.
“The pipeline is operated by the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) at Batan near Warri. It was blown up early yesterday (Monday),” a senior official of a major oil firm told AFP Tuesday.
PPMC is a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, which runs a joint venture with firms such as Anglo-Dutch giant Shell, US firms Chevron and Exxon, Italy’s Eni and France’s Total.
The official, who asked not to be identified, said the pipeline was repaired only recently after it was bombed last month. The latest attack had caused “massive spills of crude in the area”, said the official who called on the authorities to launch a clean-up.
The NNPC were not immediately available for comment when contacted by AFP. No group has claimed responsibility but the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) has claimed a wave of bombings of oil and gas facilities since the beginning of the year. The attacks have reduced output at a time when Nigeria is struggling with low global crude prices which have hammered government revenues, weakening the country’s naira currency and pushing up inflation to near 11-year highs.
The militants want oil majors to leave the Niger delta, blaming them for contributing to widespread poverty and under-development of the region. The group also wants self-determination for the oil-producing states in the delta region and political autonomy.