Bloomberg News

Exxon Says Gunmen Attack Vessel Off Nigeria, Seize Worker

September 30, 2011

(Updates with wounded worker in first paragraph.)

Sept. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Exxon Mobil Corp.’s Nigerian unit said gunmen attacked a vessel supplying one of its offshore oil platforms, wounding one worker and seizing another.

“The incident has been reported to security and relevant government agencies” after the attack in southern Akwa Ibom state, Nigel Cookey-Gam, a spokesman in Lagos, said in an e- mailed statement. Exxon doesn’t know where the seized worker has been taken and the injured individual is “stable,” he said.

Violence has risen in the southern Niger River delta, home to Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, after a period of relative quiet that followed a government amnesty in 2009 and the disarming of thousands of fighters. Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil producer and fifth-biggest source of U.S. oil imports.

Armed attacks in the delta cut Nigeria’s oil output more than 28 percent from 2006 to 2009, data compiled by Bloomberg shows. Royal Dutch Shell Plc said this month it shut 25,000 barrels a day of crude output from its Imo River field in the country’s southern Abia state because of the level of theft.

--Editors: Tony Barrett, Stephen Cunningham

To contact the reporter on this story: Elisha Bala-Gbogbo in Abuja at ebalagbogbo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dulue Mbachu at dmbachu@bloomberg.net


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