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Nigerian Oil Pipeline Hit By Fresh Violence In Niger Delta

An oil workers’ representative said on Monday that there was another attack on an oil pipeline in the Niger Delta, which a fairly new militant group had claimed on Saturday.

The Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate group claimed 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).

“Although the pipeline was not in use at the time of attack, NPDC periodically makes use of it and it is a major carrier of their product from (oil mining lease) OML 34 to OML 65,” Lucky Sorue, head of oil and gas workers in the Urhobo region, said on Monday, as quoted by Reuters.

The Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate became notorious in August when it started blowing up pipelines earlier that same month. The Greenland group has been targeting NPDC installations because these are the only installations in the area where the Greenland group operates. That group, which is not affiliated in any way to the most notorious militants, the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), had not taken part in the ceasefire that the NDA had vowed to keep.

Last week, however, 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 NDA targeted Chevron’s offshore export pipeline at Escravos. The sharp drop in Nigeria’s daily crude oil output had been courtesy of (mostly) the NDA militants targeting oil infrastructure in the Niger Delta. Before the militant attacks started a couple of years ago, OPEC member Nigeria was pumping 2.2 million bpd.

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 it is currently trying to negotiate.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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