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|Mend Had Attacks Another Chevron Facility by OneNaija(m): 11:29pm On Jun 14, 2009|
THE country may be losing additional one thousand barrels per day following a multiple explosion that rocked a Chevron facility at Abiteye and Makaraba production station in Delta State yesterday.
Spokesperson of the Joint Task Force (JTF) Operation Restore Hope, Colonel Rabe Abubakar, told The Guardian that soldiers deployed in the area reported that there was explosion but that Chevron was yet to determine the cause.
The Movement for the Emancipation for the Niger Delta (MEND) has claimed responsibility for the attacks and vowed to extend the sabotage code-named 'Hurricane Piper Alpha' to Chevron's Tank Farm in Escravos.
An oil industry security source disclosed that a multiple explosion rocked the facility. He explained that part of the facility was gutted by fire, which was still raging as at press time yesterday.
According to him, "we really cannot ascertain the exact cause of the massive explosion that rocked the facility. Our greatest concern is the safety of Chevron's tank farm here. We have not been able to figure out who was responsible for the explosions."
But MEND's mouthpiece, Jomo Gbomo, said just as the militant group was releasing a British hostage, Matthew Maguire, a major gas pipeline manifold and another major crude oil pipeline belonging to Chevron, which was recently repaired at over $56 million, were blown up by the militants.
Gbomo said: "The pipelines are located just 200 metres from the abandoned Camp 5 in Delta State, where the army is supposedly in control. The pipelines were due for re-commissioning. So, as it stands, we are back to square one.
"The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta carried out the recent attacks against Chevron in Delta State. The Makaraba oil well three and five and it's Trunk line and Gas lifts were blown up at about 5pm yesterday, June 13, 2009. Earlier on Friday, June 12, 2009, the Otunana oil well 1 and its Gas lift and Trunk lines were also destroyed."
He warned: "The Hurricane is heading towards the Chevron Tank Farm in Escravos; so, we wish to warn workers in that facility to leave now or else the same fate that befell the Elf Tank Farm in 2003 at Opumami, Delta State, will happen again in 2009 but with a worse consequence."
MEND has in the past 18 days attacked three Chevron facilities in Delta State. The first attack was on major trunk lines, which affected the flow stations at Alero Creek, Otunana, Abiteye, Makaraba and Dibi resulting in the loss of over 100,000 barrels per day.
The attacks are coming on the heels of the expiration of the 72-hour ultimatum issued by the group, warning all oil workers to leave the Niger Delta by last Monday or risk being victims of its planned series of attacks.
Meanwhile, the anti-bunkering patrol team of the JTF has arrested four suspects, who were engaged in illegal bunkering at Ogbodo Community in Delta State.
Colonel Abubakar explained that the suspected illegal bunkerers were arrested in possession of one wooden (Cotonou) boat, two speedboats and two pumping machines at Ogbodo.
Preliminary investigation, according to him, revealed that the suspects were on their way to Emereje, in Delta State, to dispose of the crude oil found with them.
He said the suspects had been handed over to the military Police detachment for further investigation.
The suspects are: Money Samuel (26) from Obazua in Edo State, Moses Sehu (28) from Burutu Council, Robert Olowu (33) from Ughelli Council and Francis Ofotorku (28) from Okpe Council, all in Delta State.
Col. Abubakar said the JTF also intercepted a tanker lorry registered Plateau XF 915 JNN, loaded with products suspected to be crude oil.
Also intercepted alongside the tanker, according to him, was a towing van meant to pull the tanker whenever it got stuck in muddy area.
He said the suspected owners of the tanker fled on sighting the JTF troops, but the suspects were given a hot chase and in the process, one Mr. Sunday Ohwoavworhua was arrested.
"Preliminary investigation conducted into the incident revealed that the product suspected to be crude oil was siphoned from the Uzese/Eriemu (SPDC) trunk15 pipeline following an earlier vandalisation on the pipeline by the saboteurs," Abubakar said.
He explained that the tanker was in the custody of the JTF and the suspect was assisting the security outfit to track down other members of the syndicates that specialise in vandalising and siphoning crude from pipelines.
|Re: Mend Had Attacks Another Chevron Facility by RICHIEBOI1(m): 11:52pm On Jun 14, 2009|
MEND dey vex ooo!
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