Niger Delta militants threaten to blow up more oil pipeline

July 24th, 2008 - 1:34 am ICT by IANS  

Abuja (Nigeria), July 23 (DPA) The militants of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta Wednesday threatened to destroy a major crude oil pipeline in the region’s Chanomi Creek and other pipelines in the next 30 days. It said in an email that this was was to prove it was not party to a deal between the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in which $12 million was paid to some groups to protect oil pipelines in the region.

“To prove that we are not a part of this deal, the Chanomi Creek pipeline and other major pipelines will be destroyed within the next 30 days,” it said.

Managing Director of the NNPC, Abubakar Yar’Adua, had earlier been reported to have said that the money was paid to some groups to facilitate pipeline network protection.

MEND said it was aware that “huge payments have been made to some criminal gangs in Delta State as protection fee”.

Destruction of oil production facilities and the abduction of expatriate workers in the region had led to a cut of about a quarter of Nigeria’s daily oil production of 2.1 million barrels and contributed to rising crude oil prices in the international market.

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