Nigerian militant group MEND claims responsibility for blowing up an oil pipeline belonging to Royal Dutch Shell, warning Russia against investing in Nigeria.
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has issued a statement addressing visiting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
“This is the fate that awaits the gas pipelines you plan to invest in [in] Nigeria if justice is not factored in the whole process,” reads the MEND statement.
Russia’s major energy company, Gazprom, on Wednesday secured a $2.5 billion joint investment deal with Nigeria during Medvedev’s visit to Abuja.
The early Thursday morning attack on the oil facility was intended as a warning to the Russian president whose visit to Nigeria is partly directed at sealing an energy deal with the oil-rich African state — a deal that may lead to the vast reserves in Nigeria being linked to Europe via a Trans-Saharan pipeline.
The blast occurred on the Bille-Krakrama pipeline that feeds Shell’s Bonny export terminal located south of the Rivers State.
Shell spokeswoman Caroline Wittgen confirmed the attack on its pipelines in an interview with AFP. “The facility has been shut down and an emergency team has been mobilized to limit the environmental impact,” she said.
MEND has attacked oil pipelines in the Niger Delta on numerous occasions as part of its campaign to receive a larger share of Nigerian oil profits.