NIGER Delta militants on Friday dipped the nation’s oil export further, blowing up the Forcados 48 inches under-repair Shell Petroleum Development Company terminal pipeline in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State.
The attack, our correspondent learnt, occurred at about 3am.
The rampaging militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers, claimed responsibility for the attack in series of tweets.
Military sources confirmed the development to our correspondent.
Shell spokesperson, Precious Okolobo, could not immediately confirm the incident, but promised to get back on the development.
Okolobo had earlier also said that repairs were continuing on Forcados despite the militants warning after the first attack.
The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, in a statement on Friday, confirmed signs of a leak on the 48-inch Forcados export pipeline at a location between shoreline and the Forcados terminal in the western Niger Delta.
The oil major said, “We are yet to fully evaluate the potential impact and damage to the pipeline resulting from this latest incident. We have however mobilised appropriate oil spill response measures and will be conducting a joint investigation visit to the leak site with relevant stakeholders.
“We are currently focused on securing the pipeline to protect the environment. Given this latest incident and the wider security situation in the Niger Delta, we are unable to determine probable timing of resumption of exports from the Forcados terminal.”
In February, Shell declared force majeure — a legal clause that allows it to stop shipments without breaching contracts — after militants blew up a pipeline feeding the Forcados export terminal, knocking out at least 250,000 barrels per day.
The attack is coming barely 24 hours after the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, said in Vienna that the Forcados pipeline would reopen in July.
NDA, in a tweet announcing the attack, said, “At 3:00am today @NDAvengers blew up the SPDC forcados 48” Exportline. We warned SPDC not to go ahead with repair work(s) but they refuse(d). This is an example to all other multinationals.”
The group had, however, denied involvement in Wednesday’s attack which left about eight persons, including three soldiers, dead in an attack on SPDC’s houseboat in Ijere, Warri South.
In the statement dissociating the group from the killings posted on its website, it said its operational codes prohibited it from shedding innocent blood.
It vowed to go after the killers of the soldiers and bring them to book.
NDA said, “The Niger Delta Avengers were not involved in the attack of the military houseboat around Warri, Delta State. Killing of sleeping soldiers is not our style. We promise the world that in this process of liberating our people, not a single blood of Nigerian soldiers will be wasted despite the provocation.”