Again, militants blow up Escravos gas pipeline

Some-militantsNIGER Delta militants in the early hours of Friday blew up another section of the Escravos gas trunk line behind Salvation City near Ogbe-Ijoh in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.

It was gathered that the incident happened at about 2am and that the damaged valve supplies gas from Escravos to the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System.

An official of the Nigerian Gas Company Limited, which owns and operates the ELPS, told our correspondent, “The part that was hit is the line break valve riser at Omadino in Itsekiri area. It is a valve on the Escravos gas pipeline. It brings gas from Escravos into the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System. “

Asked if the ELPS has been shut down, the source said, “There are other sources of gas into the ELPS. But the incident has reduced gas flow into the ELPS.”

The reduction in gas supply to the ELPS, which supplies gas to Egbin Power Plant in Lagos, means that power generation from the plant will decline further.

Sources told newsmen that the militants used dynamites and other dangerous weapons to carry out the attack.

Although, details of the attack was still sketchy as of the time of filing this report, an official of the Delta State Government described the attack as a major blow to gas production in the country.

Although, a military source around the area confirmed the incident, the spokesman for the Joint Task Force in the region, Col. Isa Ado, could not be reached for comment.

However, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

In January, the Escravos-Warri-Abuja-Lagos pipelines came under attack, a development that affected gas supply to power firms.

An NNPC source told our correspondent, “There are two pipelines that come from Escravos and one (Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System) ends up in Lagos. That pipeline has two parts. There is a main part, which was bombed in January, while there is a 16-inch loop. When the big one was bombed in January, Chevron switched to that loop, which is smaller.”

Nigeria has seen renewed militant attacks in the Niger Delta in the last few weeks, with strikes on pipelines and oil facilities. A group calling itself the Niger Delta Avengers has claimed responsibility for most of them.

Earlier this month, a pipeline transporting crude oil to Warri and Kaduna and a 16-inch gas line, owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, were blown up by the Niger Delta Avengers.

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