ChevronTexaco Not Negotiating with Militants

ChevronTexaco will manage without the production from the Ewan platform that was seized last week by Nigerian locals demanding jobs and other improvements in living conditions. Before the shut down the platform produced approximately 26,000 barrels per day of crude.

"ChevronTexavco is not in direct negotiations with the invaders, but rather it is leaning on people who have influence on them to see the futility of their action," said a company spokesman. "We want our facility back but we don't want it under duress," the spokesman added. ChevronTexaco said on Friday the militants were not from the immediate area, raising fears rig invasions could be spreading among Nigeria's impoverished oil-producing communities. Because of OPEC output restrictions, ChevronTexaco will not miss the 26,000 barrels from the Ewan Platform. The company said on Friday the Ewan platform, about five miles offshore, had been shut down approximately 24 hours before the invasion by the group. "The company evacuated its regular and contract employees from the facility just before the occupation to avoid a hostage situation," said a company spokesman.

A week earlier, ChevronTexaco and communities close to the platform signed major agreements that addressed "core concerns of the communities regarding employment, economic empowerment and the development of infrastructure", he added.

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