Chevron Corp. has taken some 90,000 barrels per day of oil offline following an attack by the Niger Delta Avengers on its Okan offshore oil platform, and Bloomberg data wide-ranging disruptions have Nigeria producing at its lowest levels in two decades, with attacks likely to intensify.
For the first time since 1994, Nigeria is now production at below 1.7 million barrels a day, the news agency said.
Chevron’s Okan offshore platform feeds crude gas into the massive Escravos export facility, which is jointly owned by Chevron and state-run Nigeria National Petroleum Corp.
The newly formed Niger Delta Avengers militant group has not only claimed responsibility for the attack, but is now taking advantage of its bragging rights, claiming in a statement that “As at now [sic], Chevron’s operation in the Niger Delta is zero.”
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The Niger Delta Avengers have launched at least three attacks recently on Niger Delta oil installations, including a February attack on the Forcados export pipeline run by Shell. After the attack, Shell declared force majeure to stop shipments without breaching contracts, as this attack put some 200,000 bpd offline.
The repairs on Forcados should be completed later this month, but the losses to Nigeria will already be about $1 billion, according to Bloomberg’s calculations, based on data from the International Energy Agency (IEA).
The Niger Delta Avengers have now vowed to attack all oil installations in the hometown of a former Niger Delta militant who had accepted the 2009 amnesty deal. The threats are apparent retaliation for betraying the cause and specifically for calling on oil companies to continue operations as normal in the face of Niger Delta Avenger attacks.
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There are fears that this attack heralds a revival of Niger Delta militancy targeting oil facilities and installations.
Niger Delta militancy largely halted after a 2009 amnesty deal, which essentially allowed militants to join in the oil corruption game for their own personal game, thereby putting an end to military and simply redirecting it into corruption. With a new government now in place, however, and a tough anti-corruption drive under way, militancy is again surfacing.
By James Burgess of Oilprice.com
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