Monday, November 22, 2010

Nigerian militants threaten to bring oil industry to its knees

Cape Town (Platts)

Nigeria's main militant group has intensified attacks on oil installations in the southern Niger Delta and threatened Monday to bring the industry to its knees.

In an e-mailed statement, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) denied claims by the military and government that a co-ordinated attack was launched against one of its camps in Rivers state in the Niger Delta.

"It is a well known fact that the Nigerian military [lacks] such capabilities or imagination. This amusing claim must have been extracted from a war novel," it said.

The security forces rescued 19 hostages -- two Americans, two Frenchmen, two Indonesians, one Canadian and 12 Nigerians -- from a camp in the mangrove creeks late on Wednesday.

But MEND said on Friday it would carry out more kidnappings from oil facilities and said they had killed several soldiers in an ambush of military gunboats.

"We promise to the people of the Niger Delta to bring oil companies operating in Nigeria to their knees and reclaim all lands stolen from the people of the Niger Delta," it said Monday.

Previous attacks by MEND fighters have significantly cut Nigeria's oil production, currently averaging around 2.2 million b/d.

Nigeria depends on oil for more than 90% of its export revenue and more than 80% of its government revenue.

--Jacinta Moran,

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