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Niger Delta Militants Give Explosive ‘No’ To Govt Deal

Niger Delta Militants

The Niger Delta Avengers on Wednesday rejected an offer by the government for negotiations to halt attacks on oil and gas infrastructure and said that it had blown up a Chevron well in response.

The country’s oil minister had made an overture to the group on Tuesday, but the Avengers rejected the offer in a tweet stating, “We're not negotiating with any committee."

"If the Fed Govt. is discussing with any group they're doing that on their own."

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The group then said it had blown up Chevron well RMP 20.

The unrest in the region is causing concern in the market, as refineries in India and the United States are moving away from Nigerian oil amid concerns about delivery.

U.S refineries on the east coast, which had been purchasing oil from the country, are looking elsewhere, and violence has also meant that the country has not seen the results of the uptick in Brent crude prices, which ironically have been driven in part by the situation in Nigeria.

Four major crude export grades—Qua Iboe, Bonny Light, Brass River and Forcados—are now under force majeure. Exxon’s is Qua Iboe, and this is said to be a mechanical failure, but the rest are confirmed as the direct result of militant attacks.

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In late May, the Avengers also shrugged off a government peace talk offer, saying they would settle for nothing less than “a sovereign state”. They don’t want pipeline contracts. They don’t want a piece of the corruption pie as their comrades before them won in a 2009 amnesty deal.

Experts do not see an end to crisis in Nigeria. Elizabeth Donnelly of Chatham house in England noted that the “nature” of the militancy in Nigeria suggests it is “here to stay for the foreseeable future.”

By Lincoln Brown for Oilprice.com

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