By Tife Owolabi and Alexis Akwagyiram
LAGOS Nov 8 (Reuters) – A blast rocked a pipeline operated by Nigeria’s state-run oil firm NNPC that feeds the Forcados terminal in the southern Niger Delta energy hub, a community leader and security source said on Tuesday.
The explosion occurred while the pipeline was being repaired following an attack last week, they said.
A week ago, community leaders from the restive region, the source of most of Nigeria’s oil, met the president and asked him to pull the army out of the energy hub, order oil firms to move headquarters there and spend more on development to end militancy in the region.
A community leader said it happened at the same location as last week’s attack – in Batan, near the southern city of Warri – while repairs were being carried out because “the boys claimed they were not happy” with the work.
“There was a serious fire and most people working narrowly escaped being shot by the gunmen, who opened fire on them,” said the leader, who did not want to be identified.
A security official attached to Operation Delta Safe also said the attack took place.
A spokesman for Nigerian National Petroleum Corp (NNPC) had no immediate comment.
Last week’s attack forced the closure of the Trans Forcados Pipeline, the main contributor to the Forcados stream, cutting the OPEC member’s oil production by at least 200,000 barrels per day). (Editing by Dale Hudson)
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