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MEND blows up crude oil, gas pipelines in Delta

*plans to hit Escravos tank farm in Delta

By Emma Amaize

THE Movement for Emancipation of the Niger-Delta (MEND, Friday, blew up a key crude oil pipeline and gas pipeline manifold in Delta State, about  200 metres away from the overrun militants den, Camp 5 in Delta State. The crude oil and gas pipelines were bombarded by the militant group shortly after it released British hostage, Matthew Maguire on Friday.

MEND spokesman, Jomo Gbomo in an online statement stated, “At about 1800 Hrs, June 12, 2009, when Matthew Maguire was being handed over in Rivers state, a major gas pipeline manifold and another major crude oil pipeline belonging to the Chevron Joint Venture, JV, recently repaired at a sum of over $56 million were both blown up after another “system failure” caused by a passing Hurricane Piper Alpha.

The pipelines are located just 200 meters from the abandoned Camp 5 in Delta state where the army is supposedly in control. The pipelines were due for re-commissioning so as it stands we are back to square one.”

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For the avoidance of doubt, MEND warned, “The Hurricane is heading towards the Chevron Tank Farm in Escravos, Delta State, so we wish to warn workers in that facility to leave now or else the same fate that befell the Elf Tank Farm in 2003 at Opumami, Delta state will happen again in 2009, but, with a worse consequence”.

Chevron confirms attacks on Nigerian oil pipeline: Chevron, yesterday, confirmed twin attacks on two oil and gas pipelines. “Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), operator of the NNPC/CNL Joint Venture, confirms that there was a breach on the Makaraba-Utonana-Abiteye pipeline and fire at its Makaraba Jacket 5 facility in Delta State that occurred on Friday June 12, 2009,” a statement said, adding: “Our workforce is safe, relevant stakeholders have been informed and we are continuing to assess the situation and work to restore the integrity of the facility which had been shut down before the incident.”

Since the renewed conflict between militants and the task force started on May 13 following the killing of about seven soldiers, including a Lieutenant by Camp 5 militants in Delta state, the militants have bombed the Warri-Escravos crude oil pipeline,  Abiteye gas pipeline , five major trunk lines leading to Chevron-operated flow stations at Olero Creek, Otunana, Abiteye, Makaraba and Dibi, all in Delta State.

Its claim of attacking the Otunana flow station, last Tuesday night, was debunked by the JTF and some community sources, who said the fire incident was caused by a system failure in one of the platforms. MEND in a coded response to the matter remarked that latest crude oil and gas pipelines that were blown up in Rivers state were probably after another “system failure”.


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