October 29, 2010 / 8:14 AM / in 10 years

Sabotage affects 4,000 bpd Agip Nigeria oil output

A man arranges Agip drums at an oil station and depot in Nigeria's capital Abuja, June 19, 2009. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

LAGOS (Reuters) - Saboteurs attacked an Agip oil pipeline in Nigeria’s Niger Delta overnight, shutting 4,000 barrels per day (bpd) of production, the Italian firm said on Friday.

“During the night between October 28 and 29 an act of sabotage occurred in a minor pipeline of the Osiama field in Bayelsa State, Nigeria,” Eni said in a statement.

“The production affected is 4,000 bpd, of which 800 bpd is Eni equity. No force majeure has been declared due to the minor amount of production involved,” the Italian firm said.

Security sources said earlier two pipelines from the Osiama field to Brass in Bayelsa state had been damaged in the attack and that as much as 60,000 bpd had been affected.

Osiama is one of the fields feeding the Brass River crude oil stream, a light crude popular with U.S. buyers due to its high gasoline yield. Exports were expected to average around 114,000 bpd in November, according to loading programmes.

Thousands of gunmen laid down weapons under an amnesty in the Niger Delta in 2009 in return for a pardon and promises of retraining, after years of attacks which at their most intense were costing Nigeria $1 billion a month in lost oil revenues.

But the militants were always highly factionalised and although the main known field commanders disarmed, some armed gangs with local grievances against foreign oil firms remain active, security sources say.

Security sources said the Obiama attack appeared to be linked to a local dispute rather than any broader or organised resurgence of violence in the Niger Delta.

Bunkering — the theft of industrial quantities of crude oil — and localised vandalism have continued although significant acts of sabotage such as those seen between 2006 and 2009 have been rare since the amnesty.

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