Friday, August 11, 2006

Nigeria: Oil field turmoil

A couple of foreign workers kidnapped as reported here:
Gunmen in military fatigues seized two foreign oil workers here yesterday in the latest violence targeting the petroleum industry of Africa's largest producer, authorities said.
Southern Nigeria, where most of the country's crude oil is pumped, has seen an increase in violence against the petroleum industry in recent days. The attacks have forced a nearly 20 percent reduction of Nigeria's usual 2.5 million-barrel daily production, helping send crude prices soaring in international markets.
The abductions came a day after gunmen stormed a supply boat in the Gulf of Guinea heading to offshore oil rigs, kidnapping four Norwegian and Ukrainian workers in a raid on the vessel owned by a Norwegian shipping firm.
Reportage of earlier seizure here:
Gunmen kidnapped four Norwegian and Ukrainian workers from a boat heading to oil rigs in the latest violence targeting the petroleum industry in Nigeria, the continent's largest exporter of crude oil, officials said Wednesday.
ndy Oputa, a security official for Nigeria's Bayelsa State, confirmed the kidnappings and said negotiators had been sent to the Niger Delta region, where most of the crude is pumped. Another state official said the capture took place nearly 30 miles from shore, with gunmen boarding the ship as it headed to oil rigs off the West African coast.
The kidnappings came less than a week after militants wearing camouflage uniforms took a German oil industry worker hostage, spiriting him away on a boat into Nigeria's troubled oil-rich delta region. A group calling itself the Movement for the Niger Delta People has claimed responsibility for that kidnapping, but police said the group was unknown.

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