Published on allAfrica, by Chika Amanze-Nwachukwu, Ahamefula Ogbu, Onwuka Nzeshi and Omon-Julius Onabu, 11 June 2009.
Lagos — The House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee probing the operations of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its subsidiaries yesterday alleged that Nigeria lost about $1.87billion between 2004 and 2007 due to manipulation of prices of crude oil exported by the country.
Similarly, crude oil sales worth N65 billion cannot be traced in the Federation Account and may have disappeared into some private pockets in the oil lifting cartel …
… Chevron’s General Manager in charge of Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Mr. Femi Odumabo, confirmed the Utonana fire incident, saying relevant stakeholders had been informed and that the situation was being assessed.
He said: “Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), operator of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)/CNL Joint Venture, confirms that there was a fire at the Utonana production facility in Delta State on Tuesday, June 09, 2009.
“Our workforce is safe, relevant stakeholders have been informed and we are continuing to assess the situation and work to restore the integrity of the facility which had been shut down before the incident.”
However, with the Chevron fire incident, MEND claimed it was kick-starting its operation “Hurricane Piper Alpha” against the oil industry in the country.
Spokesman of the organisation, Gbomo Jomo, in an online message from their official e-mail address, said they set the facility ablaze and would proceed in the same manner to attack other facilities until the export capacity of Nigeria comes to zero.
The group further alleged that it was on a revenge mission because of the bombing of Ijaw communities by the JTF which had denied by the force several times.
Gbomo Jomo said: “As forewarned, a major ‘Cordon and Search’ operation by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) commenced today, Tuesday, June 9, 2009 at about 2200 hrs with devastating effects on the heavily fortified Chevron Otunana flow station in Delta State which is currently engulfed in fire after being overwhelmed by our fighters.
“Code named ‘Hurricane Piper Alpha’, the objective is to smoke out war criminals of the Northern Nigerian armed forces that have taken refuge in oil installations and give them instant jungle justice. (full text).