LONDON (Dow Jones Newswires), September 14, 2008
Chevron Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Sunday said they were looking into reports of attacks at or near their Nigerian facilities following claims by Nigerian militants.
The statements come after the main rebel group earlier Sunday called for an escalation of hostilities against oil companies, saying it faced a full-fledged offensive by the Nigerian army.
In an email to Dow Jones Newswires, a Chevron spokesman said that, at about 2 a.m. local time Sunday, it "received reports of shooting in the area of its Robertkiri facilities, Rivers State." The attack has been reported to the appropriate government authorities and investigation is ongoing."
Chevron and Shell didn't specify where the reports emanated from. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, the region's largest militant group, said earlier Sunday it had attacked a Chevron oil facility and blown up a crude oil pipeline in Nembe Creek, where Shell has operations. Agence France Presse quoted a Nigerian army spokesman saying its men had repelled the Chevron attack.
In a subsequent email, the Chevron spokesman said: "We don't have information to suggest that the attack was directed specifically at Chevron." He added no Chevron Nigeria "employee was hurt as a result of this incident, but initial reports suggest that two employees of a local marine vessel supply company, Dahnariq Nigeria Ltd. - which supplies small vessels to (Chevron Nigeria) operations, might have died."
A Shell spokesman said it was too early to say if the company had suffered any damage. "We are investigating reports of attacks on our facilities and cannot comment in details yet," he said.
Sporadic attacks on the oil industry by Nigerian militants seeking a better distribution of oil revenue have taken place for years. But MEND Sunday called all oil workers and crude vessels to pull out from the Delta, saying they were all potential targets.
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