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Tuesday, 9 July, 2002, 15:08 GMT 16:08 UK
Women storm Nigeria oil plant
Oil rig
Nigeria is Africa's largest oil producer
Hundreds of Nigerian women have stormed an oil plant in Escravos island, off the southern coast.

Oil worker
They have disrupted operations but oil is still being exported, according to Reuters news agency.

ChevronTexaco has confirmed the incident in a statement but has not revealed the reason for the protest.

Such incidents are common in Nigeria's oil-producing areas.

Locals often kidnap oil workers and demand ransom money from the oil companies.

Sometimes they also demand infrastructure, such as roads, schools or clinics.

Jobs

The hostages are usually released unharmed but the oil companies deny paying ransom money.

Unnamed Chevron officials have told Reuters that the women were demanding local facilities and jobs and contracts for their children.

"The protesters who barricaded key installations in the tank farm, have disrupted very important operational activities at the facility," the Nigerian branch of ChevronTexaco said in a statement.

In April, 43 oil workers were taken hostage at a nearby ChevronTexaco oil plant.

Most of Nigeria's oil comes from the south-eastern Delta region.

Nigeria is Africa's largest oil-producer.

See also:

23 Apr 02 | Africa
16 Jan 02 | Business
10 Jan 02 | Business
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