13 April 2012, Sweetcrude, LAGOS – A crude oil pipeline belonging to Agip was attacked early Friday morning in Nigeria’s onshore Niger Delta, Italian oil and gas group, Eni, has said.
“We can confirm a pipeline, leading to Tebidaba, in the Clough-Creek area has been attacked,” said a spokewoman for Eni, the parent company of Agip.
Agip owns the Tebidaba-Brass pipeline, which has been subject to several attacks in recent years.
Attacks in the restive Niger Delta region have been fewer since an amnesty for militants in 2009, although large-scale oil theft and sporadic pipeline sabotage still occurs.
Meanwhile, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has claimed responsibility for the attack and warned of more to come.
A statement by the group said its fighters had attacked and destroyed one wellhead and one manifold on trunk lines belonging to Agip overnight.
“At 0210 fighters of MEND attacked and destroyed one wellhead and one manifold on trunk lines belonging to Agip … more attacks to follow,” a statement e-mailed to reporters said.
MEND has been largely inactive since most of its militants agreed an amnesty with the government in 2009, ending a wave of attacks that at one stage cut oil production down by half.
Under the amnesty thousands of militants gave up their weapons, joined training schemes and drew stipends. Security sources say remaining gangs in the Niger Delta do not have the capacity to do the damage seen in the past.
But a resurgence of militant activity is an unwelcome headache President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, whose security forces are already stretched by an Islamist insurgency raging in the north.