The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) strike again.
The Nigerian government said that it would scale back its military campaign against the Avengers and push for negotiations after a flurry of attacks against oil infrastructure and pipelines. The Avengers have knocked off somewhere between 600,000 and 1 million barrels per day of oil production, taking Nigeria’s oil production to its lowest level in more than two decades. The Niger Delta Avengers are seeking to take the country’s oil production down to “zero” in an effort to achieve its goals, which include control of oil in the Delta and “to liberate the Niger Delta people.” The shocking effectiveness from the group has the Nigerian government scrambling, desperate for any sort of solution. Nigeria is facing an economic crisis, and the oil disruptions are exacerbating the problem.
"I want to call on the militants to sheath their weapons and embrace dialogue with government," oil minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu said on Monday. "Probably we will suspend the operations of the military in the region for a week or two for individuals in the creeks to converge for the dialogue," he said.
But the Niger Delta Avengers quickly rejected the government’s request for talks. On Wednesday, the Avengers said they aren’t interested in talks and they also said that they had carried out another attack on a Chevron oil well. Related: Why Did Natural Gas Prices Just Rise 25% In Two Weeks?
The attacks have become so frequent and fierce that Royal Dutch Shell has temporarily abandoned efforts to repair a major oil pipeline that was damaged months ago. Shell’s Forcados export pipeline was attacked in February, taking the 250,000 barrel per day export terminal offline. Shell began repairs, but more attacks from the NDA last week, forcing Shell to pull out their maintenance workers.
“We cannot operate or repair if our people are threatened,” Shell’s CFO Simon Henry said in an interview in London.
Several oil export terminals are under force majeure, including the Forcados, Brass River and Bonny Light terminals.
By Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
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