ABUJA, Nigeria, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Oil samples from a spill off the coast of Nigeria are undergoing laboratory analysis to determine the source, said Exxon Mobil.
Exxon's production unit in Nigeria confirmed it was assisting in cleanup operations in the Niger Delta after local residents reported contamination along their shoreline.
"Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited confirms it is assisting with the cleanup in cooperation with local authorities," the company was quoted by the Platts news service as saying. "The source of the hydrocarbon remains unknown as fingerprinting of collected samples is ongoing."
Residents warned Exxon to be wary of moving in violation of the country's National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency.
The agency this month said it was seeking $3 billion from Chevron for a deadly rig explosion offshore in January. Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Co. in July confirmed that Nigerian authorities recommended "an administrative fine" said to total $5 billion for an incident at the Bonga field.
International oil companies working in Nigeria have blamed saboteurs for many of the incidents. The United Nations estimated that at least 6,800 oil spills occurred in the area from 1976-2001.
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