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The Trans Forcados pipeline, which feeds crude from the Niger Delta to the Shell-operated export terminal of the same name, was again bombed in the early hours of Tuesday. This second attack comes less than a week after the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate claimed responsibility for another attack on the pipeline.
No group has yet taken responsibility for the latest bombing, but the act comes after a weekend of negotiations between Nigeria’s federal government and Niger Delta stakeholders. The NDGJM warned President Buhari that they would not partake in any ceasefire in the Delta and that the government should brace itself for more attacks on oil infrastructure in the region.
Last week, before it bombed the Trans Forcados, the NDGJM also claimed it had attacked the Efurun-Otor pipeline in the in the Urhobo region, operated by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The renewed violence comes at a time when Nigeria is ramping up its crude oil output, with the Forcados terminal, among others, restarting operations after several months of force majeure after earlier attacks.
The most active among the militant groups, the Niger Delta Avengers, had agreed to a ceasefire and negotiations but breached it last month, when they blew up the Escravos pipeline, feeding crude to the Exxon-operated same-name terminal on the Nigeria coast.
The Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate is a relative newcomer on the militant scene, but the group has repeatedly demonstrated its unwillingness to sit down at the negotiations table with the government.
Due to the violence that has crippled Nigeria’s oil production, OPEC has generally agreed that the country, alongside Libya and Iran, would be given a pass when the cartel discusses production cuts to fit its total production within the tentative 32.5 million bpd-33 million bpd limit that it is currently trying to negotiate.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.