Seven expatriates working for an oil servicing company and contractor to Chevron Nigeria Limited were Wednesday abducted by gunmen at the Pennington oil platform in offshore Nigeria.
The spokesman for the Joint Task Force (JTF) Operation Pulo Shield, Lt. Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, confirmed the incident.
The seven expatriates - six Russians and one Estonian - were working aboard a vessel belonging to Bourbon International Oil Company when the gunmen invaded and took them away.
No group has claimed responsibility for the action. The attacked vessel is known as Bourbon Liberty 249.
THISDAY gathered that the men were working aboard the Pennington Platform owned by Chevron.
The nearest community to the platform is said to some coastal communities in Bayelsa State.
Investigation revealed that the military high command has ordered all the Forward Operating Base (FOB) of the Nigerian Navy located in the Niger Delta to comb the entire area and fish out the kidnappers, a situation that has provoked tension along the coastal communities in the state.
The expatriates, according security sources, were part of a team of 15 workers when the pirates struck.
The other eight workers who were unhurt during the operation had since been transferred to the Nigerian Port at Onne, Rivers State.
The JTF said the abduction occurred along the Pennington River.
The attacked vessel was believed to be sailing from the Pennington Offshore Terminal situated 16 miles south-west of the entrance to the Fishtown River.
Nwachukwu said that the identity of the expatriates and their kidnappers are yet to be ascertained as at the time of this report.
He disclosed that naval personnel and military facilities along the Niger Delta have been put on red alert and have started combing the area for the abductors.
“I can confirm to you that some unknown gunmen attacked a vessel and abducted seven persons made up of six Russians and one Estonian nationals.
We have deployed our naval elements to comb the area and track down the kidnappers. We have also alerted all operational base,” he said.