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Militants Blow Up Forcados Pipeline In Nigeria For The Third Time In A Week

Nigeria’s most notorious militants sabotaging oil infrastructure, the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), have said they bombed late on Tuesday the Trans Forcados pipeline, in the third attack in just a week on the pipeline that carries crude oil from the delta to the Shell-operated terminal of the same name.

According to the NDA, the latest bomb was a new warning to oil companies to stop repairing damaged oil infrastructure.

The attack on Tuesday evening followed a bombing on Trans Forcados in the early hours of the same day.

Last week, militants had attacked the pipeline just two days after Trans Forcados, which feeds Shell’s 400,000-bpd export terminal, resumed operations following a July attack. That attack came just hours after Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari had met with leaders in the Niger Delta to broker some kind of a peace agreement in the restive oil-rich region.

Some groups, including the NDA, have been negotiating with the government, but others, such as the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate, have refused to do so, and warned President Buhari that they would not partake in any ceasefire in the Delta and that the government should brace itself for even more attacks on oil infrastructure in the region.

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Despite the talks, the NDA attacked at the end of last month Chevron’s offshore export pipeline at Escravos. At that time Nigeria was just announcing that its crude oil production had increased to 1.9 million barrels per day, from the 1.3 million bpd it had produced in the spring of 2016.

In recent weeks, Nigeria has managed to recover some of the output it had lost to the militant attacks, but the latest spate of attacks will likely result in a setback in its production. The country—which used to pump 2.2 million bpd before militants started attacking oil infrastructure a couple of years ago—will likely be given a pass to any OPEC production cuts, if that even comes to fruition.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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