Gunmen attack oil facility off Nigeria

2010-11-15 16:12

Lagos - Gunmen attacked an oil facility off the southern coast of Nigeria operated by US energy firm Exxon Mobil late on Sunday, the company said, the second such attack in the region in as many weeks.

Exxon said on Monday that unknown armed persons boarded the offshore facility, operated by its Mobil Producing Nigeria arm in a joint venture with the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), but gave no further details.

"Relevant government and security agencies have been informed and appropriate response measures are underway at this time," the statement said.

A security source said earlier the attack took place off the coast of Akwa Ibom, one of the states that make up the Niger Delta, home to Africa's biggest oil and gas industry.

Militants attacked a rig operated by exploration firm Afren in the region a week ago, kidnapping two Americans, two Frenchmen, two Indonesians and a Canadian.

That attack was claimed by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend), the main militant group in the region, which has warned of further strikes against energy facilities.