Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Nigerian Chevron vessel hijacked, 3 hostages taken

18 November 2011

ABUJA Nov 18 (Reuters) - Eight pirates boarded an oil supply vessel contracted by Chevron Corp off the Nigerian coast and took three hostages, the U.S. oil company said on Friday.

The attack, which occurred late on Thursday, is the second by gunmen on Chevron-contracted vessels off the coast of President Goodluck Jonathan's home state of Bayelsa this month.

A security source said the latest vessel, the MV C-Endeavour belonging to service company Chouest, was serving Chevron's Agbami field, which produces 250,000 barrels per day 70 miles (113 km) off the Nigerian coast. Two other sources close to the incident confirmed the details.

A California-based spokesman for Chevron declined to comment beyond the official statement.

"Chevron Nigeria Limited is assisting the service company to ensure the safe release of the kidnapped crew members," the company said.

Experts say recent attacks on ships in the Gulf of Guinea threaten the region's position as an emerging trade hub that is an increasingly important source of oil, metals and agricultural products such as cocoa for world markets.

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