Oil Pipeline Explosion in Nigeria Kills 12

Oil Pipeline Explosion in Nigeria Kills 12Oil Pipeline Explosion in Nigeria Kills 12

Twelve people died and three were injured in an explosion during repair work at an Eni SpA crude oil pipeline in Nigeria.

The victims worked on a maintenance team for a local service company, Rome-based Eni said in a statement Friday. The Tebidaba-Clough Creek pipeline in the Niger Delta was previously “damaged by acts of sabotage.” The company said it is still investigating the cause of Thursday’s blast, Reuters reported.

The incidents interrupt oil and gas flows, affecting Nigeria’s energy exports and revenue for companies, including Eni, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Chevron Corp. Thursday’s incident was the worst since January 2012, when an explosion at Chevron’s Funiwa Gas Field killed two workers, according to a spokesman for a local environmental group.

“The dead were unidentifiable,” said Alagoa Morris of Environmental Rights Action, the Nigerian affiliate of Friends of the Earth. “Two people that were seriously wounded were rushed to Port Harcourt last night for medical attention. They were badly burnt, but they were still alive.”

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer, loses an estimated 300,000 barrels a day to criminal gangs that tap crude from pipelines that crisscross the southern, oil-rich delta for local refining or sale to tankers waiting offshore, according to state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp.