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Gunmen blow up oil pipelines in Bayelsa

By Samuel Oyadongha, Yenagoa
After a lull in attack on oil facilities in the backwaters of the Niger Delta, unknown armed gunmen Friday blew up two pipelines belonging to the Italian oil giant, Nigerian Agip Oil Company in Bayelsa State about 4,000 barrels per day of production to be shut in.

But security sources had earlier said two pipelines from the Osiama field to Brass in the state had been damaged in the attack and that as much as 60,000 bpd had been affected.

Though it could not be immediately ascertained if the blowing up of the pipelines was a resurgence of militancy in the troubled region but sources from the area said Agip pipelines from the Osiama oil field to Brass in the deep swamp of the state were attacked with explosives Thursday night in what appeared to a local dispute rather than a wider resurgence of violence by militants in the troubled region.

Security in the deep swamp could be said to be deteriorating with armed gunmen suspected to be pirates holding sway and terrorizing the Akassa-Brass waterways lately in renewed attacks on the mangrove creeks.

The attack on the Osiama oil field could be described as the first significant hit on the nation oil and gas industry since an amnesty was agreed between the government and thousands of gunmen who laid down their weapons in return for promises of stipends and retraining.

The Eni group in a statement confirmed the attack saying “during the night between October 28 and 29 an act of sabotage occurred in a minor pipeline of Osiama field in Bayelsa State.”

“The production affected is 4,000 bpd, of which 800 bpd is Eni equity. No force majeure had been declared die to the minor amount of production involved,” the statement added.

But security sources had said earlier two pipelines from the Osiama filed to Brass in the state had been damaged in the attack and that as much as 60,000 bpd had been affected.

An industry source told Saturday Vanguard that the second blast at the Osiama field and the attack on NAOC operator in the creek was noticed as the company workers were on routine check at the facilities.

The source said, “the operators visited Osiama field to reopen OS 2Ls that is not flowing. While working, they heard a loud blast like dynamite on the ROW across the river.

On going to verify, they saw a spray of oil and a boat with gunmen that opened shots at them. They took off and have arrived at station. They may have blasted the 10 inch pipeline.”


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