Armed Attack on Benin River
Death toll increases
This is news concerning ChevronTexaco but issued by a ChevronTexaco subsidiary, Chevron Nigeria Ltd., and archived here for record purpose.
LAGOS, Nigeria, Apr. 24, 2004 -- Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) can confirm that the death toll from yesterday's unprovoked armed attack on the Benin River has increased. Six persons are now confirmed dead while one other remains missing. Two of the dead are United States citizens, working for a contractor company to CNL. The American Embassy has been informed and notification of the families of the deceased is in progress.
An injured CNL employee and a wounded Naval security personnel were evacuated to the Company's medical facility in Warri where they received treatment. Both remain in stable condition. All efforts are being made in collaboration with security agencies to locate the one person still missing.
Preliminary information indicates that the attack was carried out by heavily armed militants, who had attempted to dispossess the Naval Security personnel of their weapons. The occupants of the work boat were then attacked with heavy gun fire, injuring some and killing others.
The CNL work crew had been assessing oil and gas facilities in Dibi and Olero Creek fields as part of preparations to return to these swamp locations that were vacated in March, 2003 at the height of inter-ethnic violence in the Niger Delta.
CNL is in contact with the Delta State Governor and Federal Security agencies. The Company is also in regular communication with its joint venture partner, NNPC, and the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR.
Additional security measures have been put in place to mitigate risks to personnel in the area.
CNL Chairman and Managing Director Jay Pryor has expressed deep grief at the loss of life arising from this incident saying "my heart goes out to the families of the victims of this tragic event." He also assured that "the safety and security of all employees will continue to be our top priority."
Updated: April 2004