Shell station bombed

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Suspected militants have blown up a 30,000bpd Shell flow station in Nigeria’s oil-rich state of Bayelsa, causing a massive oil spillage and dealing another blow at the country’s crude oil export.

The Diebu Creek flow station was attacked Friday night by militants operating along the creeks of the state, despite the presence of several armed troops who were guarding the facility, the private Thisday newspaper reported Sunday.

It was the latest in a series of attacks targeted key oil installations in the oil producing Niger Delta region in recent times.

But unlike the past attacks, the region’s largest militant group – Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) – which has been responsible for the attacks, has not claimed responsibility for the latest attack.

MEND had said it aimed to cripple Nigeria’s oil export capability to protest the continued detention and secret trial of its leader, Henry Okah, over alleged treason and gun-running.

It claimed its attacks on Shell’s facilities so far had led to a loss of 500,000bpd.

Thisday reported that a hitherto unknown ‘Commander Douglas’ had claimed responsibility for the Diebu Creek attack.

It quoted a Shell spokesman as saying of the attack: “SPDC’s (Shell’s Nigeria subsidiary) Diebu creek flow station was attacked last night (Friday night). A few oil delivery lines are affected and some oil has spilled into the environment. We are mobilising containment booms to stop the spread of oil and have also shut in some production volumes.”

Meanwhile, suspected sea pirates have attacked a ship and abducted its captain, said to be a foreign national, and a Nigerian engineer off the coast of Bonny in Rivers state, also on the oil region.

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