Update Regarding Armed Attack on Benin River
All boat passengers now accounted for
This is news concerning ChevronTexaco but issued by a ChevronTexaco subsidiary, Chevron Nigeria Ltd., and archived here for record purpose.
LAGOS, Nigeria, Apr. 25, 2004 -- Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) can now confirm a total of seven fatalities from last Friday's (April 23) attack on the Benin River. This follows the recovery of the body of the remaining missing person. Two of the dead are United States citizens, working for International Business Systems, Inc., a contractor company to ChevronTexaco Overseas Petroleum, a division of Chevron USA (CUSA).* Both the American Embassy and the families of the deceased have been notified. The others are Nigerians, including the boat captain and a crew member, both employees of Wilbros Nigeria Limited, and three Naval security personnel.
An injured CUSA employee* and a wounded Naval security personnel are the only survivors of the unprovoked attack. Both of them were evacuated to the Company's medical facility in Warri where they received treatment. They remain in stable condition.
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 remains 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." Continuing, Pryor said, "the investigation by government needs to be thorough and diligent and must lead to the identification and prosecution of the culprits." He also assured that "the safety and security of all employees will continue to be our top priority."
* Updates employee and contractor information as of April 27, 2004.
Updated: April 2004