The string of attacks on Shell oil export pipelines by the militants from the Movement from the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has forced oil giant Shell to shut in a total of over 500,000 barrels per day, MEND said in a statement emailed to panapress on Monday.
“Our sources inside the Shell Petroleum Development Company (have) informed us today that the consequence of our April 24 attack on the Kula major trunk line is the distruption of a further 350,000 bpd, bringing the total shut-in so far to over 500,000bpd from the combined attacks,” the statement said.
“Shell, we are told, received a directive from the government of Nigeria to conceal this figure to avoid panic and embarrassment. The government of Nigeria and the oil majors are in denial but the reality is that MEND will continue with this phase of its attacks until we have crippled every oil and gas pipeline in the Niger Delta before proceeding to the next phase of Operation Cyclone,” he added.
The report has not been independently confirmed.
MEND had recently targeted oil pipelines in the troubled oil region, with analysts saying it was aimed at stepping up pressure on the government to end the secret treason trial of the movement’s leader, Henry Okah.
On 24 April, MEND said it ”provided cover for its detonation engineers” who successfully sabotaged a major crude oil pipeline located at Kula river in Rivers state of Nigeria.
Earlier, on 17 April, the movement announced it had sabotaged a major Shell pipeline at Adamakiri also in Rivers state.