Amid the recent upsurge in attacks on oil and gas installations in the area, some international oil companies and the Nigerian National Petroleum Companies have seen their facilities damaged, with the latest being Chevron.
A militant group that calls itself the Niger Delta Avengers, which has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks since the beginning of the year, destroyed two vital Chevron’s Bibi oil wells, RMP 23 and RMP 24, in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State on Wednesday.
One of our correspondents learnt that the incident occurred around 3:44am near Egbema, an Ijaw enclave in Warri North, and the wells have been shut down.
A military source and an employee of Chevron, who did not want their names mentioned, confirmed the incident, adding that the attack led to heavy spillage in the creeks.
The source also said that a team of engineers had been sent to assess the damage and stop further spread of the spillage.
When contacted, the Manager, Communications, Chevron Nigeria, Mr. Sola Adebawo, said, “We will not comment on security issues.”
On May 4, Chevron’s Okan offshore platform came under attack, a development that resulted in the shutdown of the facility.
Okan is the nation’s first offshore production platform located in the Escravos area of Delta State.
Chevron said the damage to the Okan platform had affected about 35,000 barrels per day of its own net crude production, or about 15 per cent of its output in the country.
On May 13, a new blast occurred at a Chevron oil well at the Marakaba pipeline in Warri.
Last week, the NDA carried out another attack on the oil major’s main power line at the Escravos terminal, shutting down its onshore operations in the region.
Onshore oil assets in Nigeria have been attacked for years, forcing the IOCs to reduce their land-bound operations in the area in favour of more secure offshore projects.
The Head of Energy Research, Ecobank Capital, Mr. Dolapo Oni, said, “I think the IOCs have genuine reasons to be worried. As companies that have high safety standards, most major oil companies are likely to take stringent safety protocols, including reducing personnel at fields bordering locations that have been hit or could be hit.”