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Militants Attack Nigeria’s Trans Forcados Pipeline, Again

Niger Delta Militants

Just two days after the Nigeria’s state-owned Trans Forcados oil pipeline resumed operations following an attack in July, militants hit the pipeline again late on Tuesday, a community leader said on Wednesday.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack on the pipeline which carries crude oil and gas to the 400,000-bpd Forcados export terminal owned by Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A).

The attack led to a “massive spill, flooding a creek knee-deep in crude,” the Associated Press quoted Batan community leader Dickson Ogugu as saying.

The latest attack came just hours after Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari met with leaders in the Niger Delta to broker some kind of a peace agreement in the restive oil-rich region.

A fairly new militant group, the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate, last week said it would blow up Trans Forcados in a sign that it was displeased that the region is represented at the peace talks by “those associated with the causes of a long history of neglect and impoverishment”, according to AP.

It was that very same group that claimed earlier this week that 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).

Last week, just as Nigeria said that its oil production had increased to 1.9 million barrels per day, from the 1.3 million bpd it produced in the spring of 2016, the most notorious group in the region, the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), targeted Chevron’s offshore export pipeline at Escravos.

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 Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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