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Militants Attacks Nigeria’s AGIP Pipeline—Again

Nigeria Pipeline Explosion

An Agip-operated pipeline was again targeted by attack on Sunday, making this the 13th attack against the pipeline, which traverses Nigeria’s Bayelsa state, over the course of a month amid a resurgence of militant violence.

The latest attack occurred near the town of Ogbembiri, raising fresh questions about the central authorities’ incapacity to prevent this spate of attacks.

Militants struck late in the evening, targeting the section of pipeline near the town of Ogbembiri, with explosives reportedly placed strategically at a juncture that had been repaired following an earlier attack. Militants have issued numerous statements through local media warning against any attempts at repairs and threatening new attacks on repairs.

Related: Can Oil Prices Hold Onto Gains At $50 Per Barrel?

In February, Nigerian police apprehended Prince Alvin Cockman Oygun (AKA Commander Abula), the mastermind of previous Agip pipeline bombings that resulted in the loss of 16,000 barrels per day, along with extensive environmental damage to waterways and fishing grounds.

The pipeline attacked on Sunday night is part of a major gas supply facility, and the local community is seeking to lay more responsibility for security on the contractor.

Related: Can Oil Prices Hold Onto Gains At $50 Per Barrel?

“Agip awarded both the security surveillance of the pipeline and its repairs, in case of a breach, to a contractor from the community. So, the contractor enjoys dual contract of protecting the pipeline and repairing it whenever there is a leakage. But it is baffling how the pipeline increasingly comes under attacks,” a local source was quoted as saying.

A wave of violence in the southern oil rich Niger Delta has sent oil production in the region to a 20-year low. Major companies, such as Chevron and Shell, have been forced to cut production and evacuate key personnel amid constant attacks launched by militants.

By James Burgess of Oilprice.com

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