MEND Claims Responsibility for Nigeria Pipeline Attack

LONDON Nov 15, 2007 (Dow Jones Newswires)

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, or MEND, Thursday claimed responsibility for an attack on a major oil pipeline that feeds into Royal Dutch Shell's (RDSB.LN) Forcados export terminal.

"A small commando unit of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) sabotaged a major pipeline feeding the Shell Forcados export terminal," spokesman Jomo Gbomo, said in an e-mail. "The extent of damage could not be ascertained after the operation. However, our strategy is to nibble continuously on the oil industry until they are crippled."

The pipeline, which delivers crude from the South Bank flow station to the Forcados terminal, was attacked and ruptured in the early hours of Nov. 15, Shell confirmed earlier Thursday.

"Some production from the area has been shut-in to prevent further environmental damage as a result," said Shell spokesman Rainer Winzenrie, who wouldn't specify how much production was shut-in.

The company said the relevant government agencies had been informed of the incident.

"We are investigating the incident and preparing for repairs and cleanup," the spokesman said.

Traders of West African crude said while total crude shut-in isn't known, the facility had scheduled a 110,000 barrels of crude-a-day export program for November and 130,000 barrels-a-day program for December export.

MEND's Gbomo said warnings will be given for upcoming attacks on major bridges and other non-oil-related infrastructure to avoid casualties.

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