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Nigerian oil production has increased from 1.57 million barrels a day three weeks ago to 1.75 million bpd this week, according to new data released by Oil Minister Ibe Kachukwu.
The minister presented the data at the Presidential Quarterly Briefing with private sector stakeholders on Monday, according to the Nigerian news source Vanguard.
Kachukwu attributed the increase in output to the ceasefire negotiated between the government and the separatist Niger Delta Avengers earlier this month.
Prior to halting hostilities, the NDA’s violence against energy facilities had pushed down Nigerian oil output by around 700,000 bpd to 1.56 million bpd. Energy majors such as Seven Energy have claimed millions of dollars in lost revenue as a result of militant activity.
If the peace remains, the government will be able to return output to two million bpd by the end of the year, the minister said.
Though the NDA has upheld the ceasefire for more than a month, the Nigerian military has not let up on its offensive against the rebels. Earlier this month, the military reported the capture of the once-feared group’s suspected leader.
The NDA has also faced pressure from other militant organizations such as the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDGJM) and the Aggrieved Youth Movement. The latter group, for example, recently urged the NDA to withdraw from Rivers state and permanently lay down their weapons.
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Meanwhile, the NDGJM has ramped up attacks in the Niger Delta.
In its second attack in the same area in one week, the group bombed a major crude oil pipeline owned by the state-run Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) last weekend.
“The Niger Delta is not a conquered territory and our people have never succumbed to intimidation before, rather we match force with the oppressor’s brutality,” the group’s spokesman said after a previous pipeline attack last Tuesday. “The Nigerian government should already know that the people of this part are not fools, who will not be able to see when they are being treated with disdain.”
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…