MEND Claims It Breached Shell Pipeline In Forcados
SAN FRANCISCO, March 27, (THEWILL) - The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), a militant group notorious for attacking oil installations in the Niger Delta Thursday said its members have further damaged the Shell Forcados Sub-C pipeline, which it claimed it had earlier sabotaged on March 01, 2014.
In a statement signed by Gbomo Jomo, the group said it was 'successful in causing further damage to the on-going repair works, inflicting the heaviest toll ever on the oil industry since the commencement of 'Hurricane Exodus'.
'At about 0300Hrs today Thursday, March 27, 2014, scuba divers from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) revisited the Shell Forcados Sub-C pipeline in the Western Delta which we had sabotaged earlier on Saturday, March 01, 2014.
' The outlawed group also claimed responsibility for the Thursday, March 20, 2014 attack on the Agip crude oil and gas pipelines in Ikarama Oil Fields located in Bayelsa State.
Meanwhile, the management of Shell Petroleum Development Company has declared a force majeure following the breach of the pipeline.
'The SPDC Joint Venture declared force majeure on lifting of Forcados blend effective 0900hrs on Tuesday, March 25, 2014, due to ongoing repairs on the 48-inch crude export line at Forcados Terminal in the Western Niger Delta.
"The subsea line was shut when a leak was discovered on March 4, 2014, leading to suspension of SPDC and third party crude oil exports through the terminal.
' In an email statement, Shell's spokesperson, Precious Okolobo said that during helicopter over-flights, a slight sheen was found around the export line which prompted further investigations.
"The investigation which involved community representatives, SPDC, regulators and security agencies, found that the leak was caused by third party interference.
'Unknown persons had installed a crude theft point on the line in water depth of about eight metres.
SPDC has mobilised equipment and materials to the site, and is working to repair and reopen the line as soon as possible,' Okolobo said.