ONITSHA, Nigeria (Reuters) - Militants blew up another crude pipeline in Nigeria’s Niger Delta, a youth and protest leader said on Thursday.
Protesters also continued to block the entrance to a Chevron oil depot in the restive southern region for a third day.
On Wednesday, a previously unknown group called Delta Greenland Justice Mandate said it had attacked a crude pipeline belonging to state oil firm NNPC and local firm Shoreline Natural Resources in Urhobo in Delta state.
“It is true but I don’t have details yet,” said Collins Edema, a youth leader. He said the pipeline was on fire, but Reuters was unable to confirm this and it was not immediately possible to get more details.
He also said protesters, mostly unemployed youths, were continuing a demonstration started on Tuesday at the gate of a Chevron oil depot to demand jobs and housing, claiming the facility had destroyed their settlement.
“Our protest is going on peacefully today on Thursday. Our community workers inside the tank farm have joined the protest as we speak,” Edema said.
“Nobody is going in and out of the facility since we’ve started but Chevron has airlifted their senior staff from there,” he said, a claim Reuters could not verify.
Chevron confirmed a protest had taken place but did not say whether oil production had been affected.
Edema said the protesters might shut down Chevron’s crude flow in Abiteye, Jones Creek and other operations in the area if the company does not agree to their demands.
Communities in Nigeria’s southern swampland often complain about oil pollution and houses being moved to make way for drilling. They also say they live in poverty despite sitting on much of Nigeria’s oil wealth. The Niger Delta region has been hit by a wave of militant attacks on oil and gas pipelines, reducing Nigeria’s crude output by 700,000 barrels a day, according to state oil company NNPC. The militants, which are splintered in many groups, say they want a greater share of Nigeria’s oil wealth - which accounts for around 70 percent of national income - to be passed on to communities in the impoverished region and for areas blighted by oil spills to be cleaned up.
Reporting by Anamesere Igboeroteonwu; Writing by Ulf Laessing, editing by William Hardy; Editing by William Hardy