Avengers unleash mayhem, bomb NNPC, Chevron facilities
The Niger Delta Avengers, on Monday night, continued its unrelenting attacks on the nation’s oil facilities, blowing up two manifolds operated by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company at Batan community in the Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State.
Two other trunk lines, belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in the area were also destroyed by the militants.
Also, an oil well, operated by Chevron Nigeria Limited at the Makaraba village of Gbaramatu Kingdom, was also attacked last night.
Sources identified the oil well as Chevron well 10.
The Batan attack occurred between 10.35pm and 11.20pm on Monday while the attackers blew up the Chevron’s oil well at about the same time.
Military and community sources confirmed the attacks to our correspondent on Tuesday.
Community sources, who spoke on to our correspondent on condition of anonymity on the telephone, said the attacked NPDC manifold was a few metres away from Batan Flow Station, also owned by the company.
It was learnt that a loud explosion accompanied the attack on the manifold before two separate explosions hit the NNPC pipelines supplying crude to the Warri and Kaduna refineries.
The crude produced at the flow station is discharged through the manifolds to Forcados Terminal in the Burutu Local Government Area of the state.
Military sources, who confirmed the attacks, noted that the Trans-Forcados Pipelines were major trunk lines feeding the Shell Forcados with crude.
Batan community chairman, Mr. Ogudu Dickson, confirmed the incident in an interview with our correspondent on the telephone on Tuesday.
Dickson, while lamenting the incident, said the people of the area lived in fears because they had not seen such heavy explosions since the resurgence on militancy in the region.
He added that his people were in danger, fearing that fire could break out anytime because of the huge spill in the creeks following the Sunday and Monday night attacks on oil facilities in the areas.
He noted that some of the residents were already fleeing to Warri and other neighbouring communities for safety.
One of the military sources told our correspondent that troops were caught unawares by the Monday night’s bombings as the militants took advantage of the low tide of the sea to carry out their nefarious activities.
In low tide, boats, including the military gunboats, cannot navigate through the swamps where most of these oil facilities are located except with wooden smaller boats.
It was further gathered that the attacked Chevron oil well, NPDC’s manifolds and the affected trunk lines had been shut down by their operators.
The spokesperson for the Delta State Police Command, Celestina Kalu, confirmed the attacks when contacted on the telephone.
Kalu, a Superintendent of Police, added that the extent of the damage had not been ascertained.
The Public Relations Officer of the 4 Brigade of the Nigerian Army in Benin, the Edo State capital, Capt. M. Maidawa, could not immediately confirm the attacks when contacted on Tuesday. He told our correspondent to give him time to check and get back.
He had yet to call back as of the time of filing this report.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the Niger Delta Avengers, Mudoch Agbinibo, confirmed the attacks in a statement posted on the group’s website.
The statement partly read, “At 10pm, Niger Delta Avengers blew up Chevron Well 10, close to Otunana flow station.
“Other attacks were carried out at 11.15pm. Niger Delta Avengers blew up the NPDC Manifold, close to Banta and the two PPMC/NNPC crude oil trunk Lines.”
Only on Monday, the Twitter handle @NDAvengers, used by the rampaging militants to announce their activities, was suspended.
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