Major oil pipeline in Nigeria ruptured in ‘unclear circumstances’

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A major oil pipeline ferrying crude oil to two of the country’s four refineries has been ruptured, amid fears that militants may have been responsible for the action. The private Punch newspaper reported Thursday that the Chanomi Creek pipeline, which transports crude oil from Nigeria’s main oil city of Port Harcourt to two refineries in Warri and the northern city of Kaduna, was ruptured in ”unclear circumstances” (overnight Wednesday) in Delta state in the country’s oil producing Niger Delta region. The development may lead to the shutdown of the refineries, which only resumed production in February 2008, two years after they were forced to shut down because militants blew up the same pipeline. The Warri refinery has a capacity of 125,000 barrels per day while the Kaduna refinery has an installed capacity of 110,000bpd. Though no group has claimed responsibility for the rupture of the pipeline, militants threatened in July to blow up, within 30 days, the Chanomi Creek pipeline and other pipelines close to it to demonstrate the seriousness of agitations for greater control of oil resources in the Niger Delta.

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