Nigeria Militant Group Bombing Oil Pipelines Says it won’t Stop Until Companies Exit Oil-rich Delta Region

Nigeria’s armed group which has claimed responsibility of bombing oil pipelines in the Niger Delta told the nation’s authorities it may turn violent if companies continue to operate in the region. Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) in a statement published on its website said that the oil companies must not carry out any repair works on the affected pipelines and that buying of crude oil from the Niger Delta must be suspended. “The NDA high command is restating our commitment to attack the interest of oil corporation and international refineries operators that bring in vessels to the Niger delta territory to buy our oil that every successive government have refused to used and reapply the proceeds towards any development in the region since 1958”, the statement reads in part. The recent sabotage on the country’s oil infrastructure has knocked nearly 1 million barrels of daily production off shelf dethroning it as Africa’s biggest producer and resurrecting the prices. Now Nigeria is grappling with “widespread disruptions to key crude streams,” that include Forcados, Bonny Light, Qua Iboe, Brass River and Escravos, according to Societe Generale. All outages except the ones at Qua Iboe, which was recently restored, have been due to attacks from the Niger Delta Avengers. Nigeria’s oil region “remains engulfed in a security crisis,” Helima Croft, head of commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets, wrote in a report. “A key problem is that the Nigerian military remains relatively weak and under-equipped after decades of poor funding and training.” The militant group is angry over the loss of land in the Niger Delta, the country’s biggest oil producing region, and is demanding that revenue from the area be distributed more fairly. The group launched a similar wave of violence from 2006 to 2009. That crisis was only resolved after the Nigerian government offered the militants an expensive package that included the amnesty, job training and cash payments, analysts said. Tensions reignited earlier this year after the cash-strapped Nigerian government slashed funding for that program by nearly three-quarters. “Given that the group is refusing to talk to the government, it seems likely that there will be further acts of sabotage against oil infrastructure,” said Pugh.

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