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Militants Blow Up Chevron Oil Platform in Niger Delta

Militants Blow Up Chevron Oil Platform in Niger Delta

Nigerian media are reporting that militants have blown up Chevron’s offshore Valve Platform in the Niger Delta, though authorities have issued no reports as to casualties yet.

The group behind the attack is said to be the Niger Delta Avengers, and the attach took place overnight, according to Nigerian naval officials cited by local media today. The group has reportedly claimed responsibility for this attack.

"This is what we promised the Nigeria government since they refuse to listen to us," the group said in a statement about the Chevron attack, adding that it happened shortly after 10.30 p.m. (5.30 p.m. ET) on Wednesday, according to a Reuters report.

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Estimates of damage done in the attack are not yet available, and there have been no statements from Chevron.

There are fears that this attack heralds a revival of Niger Delta militancy targeting oil facilities and installations.

Attacks were not unexpected, particularly following charges against former Niger Delta militant leader Tompolo (Government Ekpemupolo).

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The new spate of attacks may have been indicated with the attack by the Niger Delta Avengers on the Forcados power plant and the Forcados export pipeline. The pipeline, which belongs to Shell, was attacked in February and resulted in a shut-down of the export terminal, which handles 250,000 barrels per day.

Niger Delta militancy largely halted after a 2009 amnesty deal, which essentially allowed militants to join in the oil corruption game for their own personal game, thereby putting an end to military and simply redirecting it into corruption. With a new government now in place, however, and a tough anti-corruption drive under way, militancy is again surfacing.

By James Burgess of Oilprice.com

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