U.S.-based oil company Chevron says unidentified assailants have
attacked one of its key oil supply pipelines in southern Nigeria,
forcing a shutdown in crude production.
Nigerian military officials say the attack took place late Thursday near the Escravos area of the Niger Delta.
confirmed the attack in a statement Saturday, saying it shut off its
onshore production following the pipeline breach to protect the
environment. It did not say how much production would be lost.
region's main militant group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the
Niger Delta, says it was contacted today by a group of youths, who
claimed responsibility for the attack.
Nigerian President Umaru
Yar'Adua has ordered the country's armed forces to boost security in
the region following a separate attack on an offshore oil field
Government spokesman Segun Adeniyi says a major
military crackdown is inevitable following the militant attack on the
Royal Dutch Shell oil installation.
The Movement for the
Emancipation of the Niger Delta claimed responsibility for that rare
offshore attack on the Bonga field, 120 kilometers out to sea.
began attacking oil facilities in the Niger Delta in late 2005 to
demand that more oil revenue be directed to poor local residents.
Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.