The Defence authorities have confirmed an attack on a major platform of Chevron Nigeria Limited by suspected militants in the Delta axis of the Niger Delta.
The Acting Director, Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Rabe Abubakar, said that the unfortunate incident occurred in the high sea on Wednesday night.
Abubakar who said that efforts were being made to track the perpetrators of the heinous act referred our correspondent to the Spokesman of the Navy, Commodore Chris Ezekobe, for details.
“Actually, it is true. It is unfortunate that this type of thing happened. It happened far into the high sea so efforts are being intensified to track the perpetrators.”
However, the Navy Spokesman, Ezekobe, explained that the attack took place some four miles off the Escravos River.
According to him, the platform that was partially damaged was a collection point for crude oil and gas to the main Chevron facility in the area.
Ezekobe said that the Forward Operation Base of the Navy had already dispatched vessels to protect oil platforms in the area and the facility of the Shell Petroleum Development Company that was earlier blown up by a new militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers in the Forcados area of Delta State.
He said, “Well, it is true, the incident happened four nautical miles off the Escravos Bar. The platform was partly damaged, it is a collection point for crude oil and gas to the main facility in the area, so it has affected production.
“Our Forward Operation Base in the area has sent vessels to protect the oil facilities in the area and the one that was attacked at the Forcados.”
A group which called itself the Niger Delta Avengers claimed responsibility for the attack saying its Team six carried out the attack.
The group said that its members blew the Chevron valve platform which served as the connecting point for all other platforms saying the attack had crippled all other Chevron activities in the area.
The group in a statement posted on its website signed by one Col. Madoch Agninibo, threatened to carry out other attacks on oil installations outside the Niger Delta in Abuja and Lagos.
They threatened the multinational oil companies operating in the Niger Delta to prevail on the Federal Government to meet their demands. The demand were stated in a statement released on their website.
“At about 10:40pm on Wednesday the Niger Delta Avengers blew up the Chevron valve platform. This platform is the most significant platform for chevron because it’s the main connecting point where all other platforms link up and it’s a fulcrum to chevron BOP and the Chevron Tank farm. With the valve platform blown all chevron activities are now halted.
“This is what we promised the Nigeria Government that since they refuse to listen to us we are going to zero the economy of the country.
“As for zeroing the Nigeria economy we the Niger delta avengers is done with delta state major oil installations. Now we are taking the fight out of the creeks of the Niger Delta. We are taking it to Abuja and Lagos now.
“We want to pass this message to the all international oil companies operating in the Niger Delta that the Nigeria Military cant protect your facilities. They should talk to the federal government to meet our demands else more mishaps will befall their installations.
“And to the Military we are the masters of the creek and its time for you to admit you don’t understand the terrain. Making it impossible for the Nigeria military to stop the activities of the Niger Delta avengers.
“Not until, our demands are met no repair works should be done at the blast site. Whoever that is going there for any repair work will be doing that at their detriment.
“The high command of the Niger Delta Avengers wants to use this medium to thank strike team 6 for successfully blowing up the chevron valve platform. And we are ready to protect the Niger Delta people.” The statement states