Port Harcourt, Nigeria | – Suspected militants in southern Nigeria have blown up oil pipelines operated by Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), a subsidiary of Italy’s Eni, causing a “massive” oil spill, an industry official said Sunday.
“The attack on the Agip pipelines in Brass was carried out by suspected Niger Delta militants on Thursday night,” an official from the state-run oil company NNPC, who did not want to be named, told AFP.
He said explosives were used to blow up the pipelines in the oil-rich state of Bayelsa.
“The explosion has led to a massive spillage of crude into the sea and fishing camps while residents of the communities now live in fear,” he said.
Brass is home to a crude oil exports terminal.
The official could not say if oil exports were affected.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes a few weeks after several pipelines and oil facilities were blown up in nearby Delta state, home of former militant leader Government Ekpemupolo.
A federal high court in Lagos this month ordered Ekpemupolo’s arrest over allegations he defrauded the state of more than $175 million (161 million euros) between 2012 and last year in tainted government contracts.
An ally of ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, he is one of the most high-profile former leaders of the militant Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND).
The group attacked oil and gas facilities in the 2000s as part of a campaign to secure a fairer share of crude revenue for the Delta region until a government amnesty was introduced in 2009.