The dreaded militant group, Niger Delta Avengers, have once again blown up crude oil trunkline belonging to the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria in Batan, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State.
It was gathered that the incident occurred at about 12.05am on Monday.
The fresh attack happened around Camp 3, few kilometres away from the spot where the militants had recently also attacked oil installations early this month.
It took soldiers over five hours before finally confirming the attack.
Findings revealed that a technical team from Pipelines and Product Marketing Company drafted to the spot could not curtail the spill as of 4.32pm, as crude was said to still be gushing out of the attacked pipeline.
Sources from the community, who confirmed the attack to our correspondent, said soldiers had a difficult time locating the attacked pipeline because of it remoteness in the swamp of Batan.
The sources said the militants shot sporadically for some minutes before detonating devices to blow up the pipeline.
A top military officer confirmed the attack when contacted by our correspondent, saying his men had a hard time identifying the spot as it was too remote for military personnel to easily access.
The Chairman of Batan Community, Dickson Ogugu, when contacted, confirmed the incident and appealed to the militants to halt their hostility on oil installations in the region especially within the Batan axis.
Ogugu, who lamented the spate of attacks on oil facilities within the region, urged the militants to accept the offer of dialogue that the Federal Government was offering them in the interest of peace.
He lamented that his kinsmen could no longer go for fishing which was their main occupation, thereby leading to lack and hunger among the people.
A PPMC source, who confirmed the incident to our correspondent, said that the pipeline which served the Warri refinery and Forcados had just been fixed after the militants attacked it about three weeks ago.
Although the militant group had yet to take responsibility for the attack, the industry source added that the pipeline only resumed supply of crude few days ago before being attacked again on Monday.
It added that the spill was enormous, making it hard for the technical/maintenance team deployed to the spot to curtail it.
The spokesperson for the 4th Brigade of the Nigerian Army in Benin, Edo State, Capt. Musa Maidawa, could not respond to enquiries as of the time of filing this report.
But the Public Relations Officer of the Delta State Police Command, SP Celestina Kalu, confirmed the attack.
“There was something of that nature at Camp 3 in Batan community. It happened around 0030hrs of today (Monday),” Kalu’s brief text message to our correspondent read.