Shell Oil Workers Kidnapped in Nigeria

Three Shell oil workers were kidnapped from their boat at the company's Forcados export terminal earlier this week. One of the workers is a German national and the other two are from the Philippines. The company has declined to release the names of the kidnapped workers, however, the German was the captain of a tug boat. The kidnappers have reportedly asked for a large cash ransom of 25 million naira ($2 million) and another 400,000 naira for feeding the hostages. A senior emergency response official from Shell said that the kidnappers had sent a ransom letter to Shell's southwestern operational headquarters in Warri. Shell has not made contact with the kidnappers, however, the company said that they do not negotiate with extortionists or kidnappers.

Shell officials said the abductors did not appear to be from local communities whose militant agitation for a greater share of Nigeria's oil wealth has frequently disrupted oil production in the area. "It is not community related, it is piracy and the motive is financial," a Shell official said.