Oil Contractor Kidnapped from Supply Ship off Nigerian Coast
A contract employee onboard a ship supplying Exxon Mobil’s offshore oil operations off the Nigerian coast was kidnapped Monday by gunmen. This most recent attack comes just days after another a similar attack and abduction of another worker.
Exxon Mobil is not releasing specifics of the attack, nor the identity of the abducted worker, but has indicated that the attack occurred on a vessel near one of their platforms or oil rigs off the coast of Nigeria’s southern delta near Akwa Ibom state earl Monday.
In a statement released Tuesday the company had this to say: “At this time, we do not know the identity of the attackers, nor reason for their action. The incident has been reported to security and relevant government agencies.”
Just last month, gunmen stormed another Exxon Mobil supply ship, taking with them a contractor and leaving another wounded.
Attacks on oil operations in the region have increased in recent years as Nigeria’s government received billions of dollars for the easily refined crude oil while citizens continue to live without access to clean water, education, or work. The growing discontent of people in the region has fueled militant groups and increasingly violent attacks.
In 2009, the Nigerian government sponsored reprieve programs to former militant members, with promises of job training and monthly income. Many claim to have not seen these promised benefits, raising new discontent in the region.