updated 11/2/2006 2:41:13 AM ET 2006-11-02T07:41:13

A Briton and an American were kidnapped on Thursday from an oil prospecting ship off the coast of Nigeria’s southern state of Bayelsa, diplomatic and security sources said.

It was the latest in a wave of kidnappings and violence against foreigners in the oil producing Niger Delta which has forced hundreds of workers to pull out of the region and reduced Nigerian oil output by 500,000 barrels a day.

“Two expatriates, an American and a Briton, working for PGS have been kidnapped this morning on board MV Commander, one of the vessels at sea in Bayelsa,” a security source said, asking not to be named.

Petroleum Geo-Services is a Norwegian-based oil service company specializing in seismic studies. The company’s spokesman was not available for comment.

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