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Cablegate: Nigeria: Militants Attack Chevron, Shell Facilities

VZCZCXRO4957
PP RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHOS #0365 2611608
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 171608Z SEP 08
FM AMCONSUL LAGOS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0166
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 9821
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH AFB UK
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RHMCSUU/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEWMFD/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE

UNCLAS LAGOS 000365

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DOE FOR GPERSON, CHAYLOCK

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EPET PGOV NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: MILITANTS ATTACK CHEVRON, SHELL FACILITIES

1. (SBU) Militants associated with the Movement for the
Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) attacked Chevron and
Shell oil facilities in Rivers State on the evening of
September 13. A Chevron contact confirmed the company's
Robertkiri flowstation was attacked. The flowstation has
been shut-in for some time prior to the attack due to ongoing
pipeline repair work, but the company was evacuating all
"non-essential" personnel from the site and was reviewing its
security posture in the area. Chevron said operations in
other areas in the Niger Delta continued normally. Shell
flowstations and a gas facility were also attacked. On
September 12, Shell extended the force majeure on exports of
Bonny Light crude. The company said it found additional
leaks in Nembe Creek pipeline and ongoing violence was
slowing repair work. The pipeline feeds crude oil to Shell's
Bonny export terminal and was damaged in a July attack.

2. (SBU) Comment: A spokesman for MEND told the local press
the group has declared an "oil war" and warned all
expatriates to leave the region. So far, violence seems
concentrated in Rivers State. The state is a vitally
important area for the Nigerian petroleum industry. Besides
its oilfields, the state is home to the Onne deepwater
support base which provides logistics support to most
offshore oil platforms. End Comment.
BLAIR

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