Oil workers kidnapped off Nigeria freed

2011-10-28 13:41
Lagos - Two contract workers kidnapped from ships supplying Exxon Mobil Corp's offshore oil operations near Nigeria have been released, the company's local subsidiary said.

In a short statement, Exxon Mobil spokesperson Nigel Cookey-Gam told The Associated Press on Thursday that the workers taken in attacks on September 30 and October 17 off the coast of Nigeria's oil-rich southern delta were released unharmed.

Cookey-Gam declined to offer further details, referring questions to the Nigerian government.

The two attacks occured near the coastline of Akwa Ibom state, where Exxon Mobil bases much of its operations in Nigeria. The company's oil tanks line the beach and its offshore oil rigs can be seen along the horizon, along with the burning flares from the excess gas released during pumping.

The two attacks mirrored each other, with gunmen attacking contractor ships carrying supplies as they were near Exxon Mobil oil rigs and platforms. In the September 30 attack, however, one crew member was injured.

Foreign oil companies remain a lucrative target for militants and criminals in Nigeria's Niger Delta, a region of swamps and mangroves about the size of South Carolina. Foreign firms have pumped oil out of the delta for more than 50 years, with its easily refined crude one of the US' top sources for gasoline.

Despite the billions flowing into Nigeria's government, many in the delta remain desperately poor, living in polluted waters without access to proper medical care, education or work.

Militants in the delta's winding creeks started a wave of attacks in 2006 targeting oil companies, including bombing their pipelines, kidnapping their workers and fighting with security forces. That violence waned in 2009 with a government-sponsored amnesty program promising ex-fighters monthly payments and job training. However, few in the delta have seen the promised benefits, stirring new discontent in a region awash in weaponry.

Exxon Mobil, based in Irving, Texas, runs the majority of its Niger Delta operations out of Akwa Ibom state. It pumped out more than 165 million barrels of oil in its partnership with the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corp last year alone, according to government statistics.

- AP
Read more on:    abductions  |  west africa

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Africa: Land of Billionaires!

Find out who are the richest of the richest in Africa!



Best bro movies 2014
Every man should be able to do these three things
Goalkeeper saves five penalties with his FACE!
Hottie of the day: Jesselyn

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Hot festive offers at kalahari.com!

Hurry! Stocks are limited. Don’t miss out. Shop Now!

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


You may feel divided. Conflict between mind and emotions can create tension or indecision. This could lead to stressful feelings...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.