• Attack more NNPC, CHEVRON facilities
  • Demand sovereign state

NIGERIA’S CRUDE oil
production, which currently stands
at about 1.4 million barrels per day,
bpd, may further decline following
sustained bombings of oil and
gas facilities by a new militant
group that calls itself Niger Delta
Avengers, NDA.
Only yesterday, the new militants
defied the presence of heavily
armed soldiers to blow up another
Nigerian National Petroleum
Corporation, NNPC gas and crude
trunkline close to Warri.
The latest onslaught on oil
facilities came barely 24 hours after
the group had blown up Chevron’s
Escravos pipeline.
The new militants’ Strike Team 7
blew up well D25 in Abiteye, a major
gas facility owned by Chevron. The
team also blew up major pipelines
in Alero, Dibi, Otunana and
Makaraba flow stations, which feed
the Chevron tank farm, putting it
out of operation.
In an earlier tweet yesterday, the
group apparently angered by the
Niger Delta stakeholders meeting
held on Wednesday, May 25, at
Abuja, described the meeting as
an insult to the people of the Niger
Delta region.
The tweet read, “The Niger Delta
stakeholders’ meeting is an insult to
the people of the Niger Delta. What
we need is a sovereign state, not
pipeline contracts.
“To the International Oil
Companies, IOCs and the Nigeria
military, watch out, something big
is about to happen and it would
shock the whole world,”it added.
The demand for a sovereign
state is similar to the agitation of
the Independent People of Biafra,
IPOB, who are insisting on a new
Republic for the people of the South
East region.
Nigerian Pilot Saturday recalls
that attacks on pipeline facilities by
the new militant had led to a sharp
drop in the nation’s oil production
between March and April, forcing
the return of long queues at filling
stations across the country.
Then, Nigeria’s oil production by
56,000 barrels per day (bpd) from
the 1.694 barrels per day it recorded
in March to 1.637 bpd in April, and
further dropped as confirmed the
Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr.
Ibe Kachukwu, to about 1.4 million
and subsequently induced bleak
prospect in the expected accruable
revenue from oil sales.
Kachukwu had confirmed that
Nigeria had suffered a shortfall of
563,000 bpd from the 2.2 million
barrels per day crude oil output
pegged by the Federal Government
in the 2016 budget, and engendering
plans to lower the benchmark used in
the calculation of accruable revenue
for the country in the 2016 budget.
On Thursday in Lagos,
Kachukwu had reiterated the
desire of the Nigerian government
to address grievances in the oilproducing
Niger Delta, stressing
that the renewed attacks had
forced Chevron to shut its onshore
operations in the restive region.
Recalling in pains the resurgence
of pipelines bombings, Kachukwu
said between one and 15 attacks
were made on oil and gas facilities
in Warri alone from April 1 to 21.
Though the NNPC was yet to
issue a statement yesterday, oil
industry watchers believe the
latest onslaught will further the
country’s prospect of returning to
healthy financial ways to be able
to raise needed revenue to fund its
enormous capital projects as well as
meet other obligations.
Already, President Muhammadu
Buhari had instructed the Nigerian
military to redouble efforts to protect
oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta.
However, the resort to military
option has been strongly opposed
even by the British government,
which urges dialoguing instead of
brute force against the agitators.
British Foreign Minister Philip
Hammond said Buhari needed
to the deal with the root causes
because a military confrontation
could end in “disaster”.
“The idea that your answer is by
moving big chunks of the Nigerian
army to the Delta simply doesn’t
work,” he said, adding that the
army did not have the capacity
while fighting Boko Haram jihadists
in the north. “It won’t deal with the
underlying issues.”
“Buhari has got to show as a
President from the North that he
is not ignoring the Delta that he is
engaging with the challenges in the
Delta,” Hammond said.
Nigerian Pilot Saturday recalls
that the NDA had warned, “This
is a clear warning to all Niger
Delta politicians, traditional rulers,
community leaders and the likes
of Tompolo to mind their business
and leave the liberation of the Niger
Delta people to the Avengers…
Neither you nor the federal
government can stop us.
“If you don’t stay clear and let
us carry out our activities, we will
bring the fight to your individual
doorsteps. Our major goal is to
cripple the Nigerian economy.”
The Niger Delta Avengers, a
newly formed militant group, have
followed through with their threats
to wreak havoc on the country’s
economy by blowing up oil and gas
pipelines.


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