Militants ‘blow up’ Chevron’s platform in Nigeria

Chevron’s platform in Nigeria’s oil rich Niger Delta was reportedly attacked by militants on Wednesday. 

Chevron, the operator of the join venture with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), told Reuters that its Okan offshore facility in the Western Niger Delta region was breached by unknown persons. 

“The facility is currently shut-in and we are assessing the situation, and have deployed resources to respond to a resulting spill,” Reuters quoted Chevron as saying.

Details about any casualties as a result of the attack were not immediately available.

A militant group from Nigeria, calling themselves Niger Delta Avengers, has claimed responsibility for the attack stating the group ‘blew up’ the platform and that its major goal “is to cripple the Nigeria economy”.

The group said in a statement that this was a message to all international oil companies operating in the Niger Delta that the Nigerian Military couldn’t protect their facilities, and that there was more to come if the group’s demands weren’t met.

The group also said that all oil facilities by the international oil companies including their offshore platforms, naming Shell’s Bonga FPSO as an example, are potential targets.

Offshore Energy Today has reached out to Chevron seeking confirmation and further details on the attack. Chevron’s spokesperson confirmed that the Okan offshore facility was breached at about 11:15 pm on Wednesday night, May 4, 2016. There were no injuries and all employees have been accounted for, the spokesperson stated.

The spokesperson also added that the incident has been reported to the relevant security and regulatory bodies and that Chevron continues to monitor the situation.

Chevron operates and holds a 40 percent interest in eight concessions in the onshore and near-offshore regions of the Niger Delta. The company also holds acreage positions in three operated and six non-operated deepwater blocks, with working interests ranging from 20 percent to 100 percent.

In 2015, net daily production averaged 224,000 barrels of crude oil, 246 million cubic feet of natural gas and 6,000 barrels of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

According to U.S Energy Industry Administration, pipeline sabotage and oil supply disruptions in Nigeria have increased in 2016, leading to a decline in Nigeria’s crude oil production.

Because Nigeria heavily depends on oil revenue, its economy is noticeably affected by changes to its oil production and/or to global crude oil prices, EIA says, citing IMF projections according to which the country’s oil and natural gas exports earned $52 billion in 2015, $35 billion less than in 2014, which is mostly attributed to the fall in oil prices that began in mid-2014.

The article has been updated with Chevron’s statement. 

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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