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A day after issuing an ultimatum to oil companies in the Niger Delta to cease operations or face more attacks, Nigerian media are reporting that militants have attacked a Chevron installation, blowing up a well head.
The attack targeted well head number 10 on Chevron Nigeria’s Marakaba line in Warri in the Niger Delta, according to Nigerian reports.
Explosives were detonated on the well head, which is part of the facility that comprises the Okan offshore installation, which was taken offline last week after a militant attack, reports said.
There has been no official confirmation from Chevron as of yet.
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On Thursday, the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) had issued two very specific warnings: One was to oil companies in general to shut down operations in the Niger Delta region. The second was specifically to Chevron to make no attempt at repairs of damage done from earlier attacks.
Militants had also threatened to attack Chevron workers.
“When we blew up the Chevron Valve Platform it resulted in total blackout in the Escravos Tank farm for more than three hours. If we can do it just know that we are capable of bringing down your tank farms if you continue with repair works on the blown valve platform,” NDA said in a statement issued to Nigerian media.
So far attacks have cut output by between 600,000-1.4 million barrels per day.
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Earlier on Thursday, Exxon Mobil reportedly declared force majeure on Qua Iboe crude after an accident the company said was not related to militant attacks.
Exxon said a subsea pipeline linking to Qua Iboe was damaged by a drilling rig. Then, early on Friday, unnamed traders cited by both Bloomberg and Reuters claimed that Exxon had declared force majeure on Qua Iboe crude deliveries.
Qua Iboe is Nigeria's largest crude stream. May should have seen some 337,000 barrels per day of Qua Iboe exported this month, according to Reuters.
On Wednesday, Royal Dutch Shell declared force majeure on its exports of Bonny Light crude. Shell has been forced to evacuate staff from its Eja OML 79 production facility.
By Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com