Eni blames 'sabotage' for oil spill in Nigeria

July 9, 2012 - 1:38 PM

PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria (AP) — Italian oil major Eni SpA has blamed sabotage for a spill from one of its pipelines in Nigeria's oil-rich southern delta.

A spokeswoman for the company said in a statement Monday that repair work was ongoing on its Nembe-Obama pipeline. She spoke on condition of anonymity in line with company policy.

The statement said it was "due to sabotage." It said that there has been "minimal impact on production."

Nengi James, chairman of the oil and gas committee of the Nembe community in Bayelsa State, said the spill affected mainly mangrove areas and has reached the Brass River.

Oil spills remain common in Nigeria's Niger Delta, more than 50 years after the country saw its first well open.

Nigeria is a top supplier of crude oil to the U.S.