In a renewed onslaught on oil installations, militants have attacked one of the offshore crude production platforms at the Qua Iboe oil fields operated by ExxonMobil. The attacks took place off the Atlantic Shoreline of Ibeno, Akwa Ibom State.
The attack followed a raid by the Joint Task Force on the Base of militants last week.
The gunmen had reportedly gained access to the oil facility on Sunday evening and abducted a yet to be ascertained number of crewmen on the platform.
A statement from the oil firm signed by ExxonMobil’s Mrs Gloria Essien-Danner on Monday said that investigation into the incident is underway.
“Mobil Producing Nigeria, operator of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC/MPN Joint Venture confirms that one of its offshore facilities was boarded by unknown armed persons in the evening of Sunday, November 14, 2010.
“Relevant government and security agencies have been informed and appropriate response measures are underway at this time.
“We restate our commitment to ensuring the safety of people and property,” it stated.
Several hours after the incident, Police sources in Akwa Ibom feigned ignorance of the development when contacted on Monday by Sahara Reporters.
Spokesman of Akwa Ibom Police Command ASP Onyeka said that he was yet to receive reports.
No militant group has so far claimed responsibility for the attacks. ExxonMobil operates a crude oil export terminal off Akwa Ibom shoreline.
Militants of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) on November 8, 2010 attacked an AFREN oil rig off Eastern Obollo Shoreline in Akwa Ibom and abducted seven foreign oil workers
The expatriates comprised two Indonesians, two Americans, two Frenchmen and one Canadian are yet to be freed