Nigerian Militants Threaten Oil Rig Attacks Within Days

Credit: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters File Photo.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York on 19 September 2017.


Nigerian militants threatened on 17 January to attack offshore oil facilities within days, raising fears of a repeat of a 2016 wave of violence that helped push Africa’s biggest economy into recession.

The Niger Delta Avengers—the fighters behind many of the 2016 attacks—said they had planned the assaults after giving up on talks to give their impoverished southern region a greater share of the oil revenue it produced.

“This round of attacks will be the most deadly and will be targeting the deep sea operations of the multinationals,” the group said in a statement on its website.

It said its targets, in the seas off the swampland delta region, would include the Bonga Platform and the Agbami, EA, and Akpo fields. The militants also said they would target the Nigerian oil company Brittania-U.

Shell operates the Bonga and EA fields while Chevron is the operator of Agbami. Akpo stakeholders include Total, China’s CNOOC, Brazil’s Petrobras, and Nigeria’s Sapetro.

Representatives of Shell and Chevron declined to comment, and there was no immediate statement from the other companies.

Attacks on pipelines and other facilities in the Niger Delta in 2016 cut Nigeria’s crude production from a peak of 2.2 million B/D to near 1 million B/D—the lowest level seen in Africa’s top oil producer in at least 30 years.

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