Royal Dutch/Shell Workers Held Hostage In Nigeria

Thursday, September 28, 2000
It was reported that militant youths in Nigeria's Niger Delta are holding 12 Royal Dutch/Shell workers hostage, to press for compensation for an oil spill in their area.

Shell officials in Lagos said they were not aware of the kidnapping, which the youths said was to forced the oil company pay $1.5 million compensation for a 1989 oil spillage.

Sources said the oil workers, mainly Nigerians, were seized by youths from Arhavwarien community in Ugheli South Local Council in southern Delta State, on their way to effect repairs of a leaking pipeline in a neighboring village.

Residents demanding a greater share of Niger Delta region's oil wealth frequently sabotage or kidnap oil workers to try to win payments from oil firms.

Last month, militants kidnapped 165 Shell workers in southern Bayelsa demanding cash and jobs. Shell is Nigeria's biggest oil producer accounting for about half of Nigeria's daily output of more than two million barrels.

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