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The Niger Delta Avengers have claimed responsibility for the latest pipeline blast in the Niger Delta, this time of a gas transport facility of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in the state of Akwa-Ibom.
This is the latest in a long stream of attacks on oil and gas production and transport infrastructure in the impoverished Niger Delta, which has also involved several other militant groups. The Niger Delta Avengers have always emphasized they will not take lives but will destroy infrastructure in an attempt to force the Nigerian government to give a bigger portion of oil revenues to the local communities.
By May this year, the increasingly frequent attacks had cut such a significant portion of Nigeria’s oil output that it caused a rally in global oil prices. Among the international companies operating in the Niger Delta that have been hit by the Niger Delta Avengers are Shell, Exxon, Chevron, and Eni.
There have been attempts on the part of the federal government to settle the issues with the NDA but these attempts have so far proved unfruitful. Earlier this month, a group of local legislators in the southern states of Nigeria urged the federal government to share oil revenues more fairly with the Delta Communities as well, in another bid to stop the attacks.
Currently, the federal government says it is conducting talks with militant groups from the Niger Delta region but the NDA has said it is not taking part in any such talks. In any case, the attacks, which have so far cost Nigeria’s top spot among oil exporters in Africa to Angola, seem likely to continue until the government succeeds in meeting the various demands of the different groups.
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.