Niger Delta Avengers Claim Responsibility for Fresh Oil, Gas Attacks

Niger Delta Avengers Claim Responsibility for Fresh Oil, Gas Attacks
The Niger Delta Avengers claim responsibility for a series of fresh attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta over the weekend.

The Niger Delta Avengers claimed responsibility for a series of fresh attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta over the weekend.

In a string of messages published early Sunday, the NDA said it had attacked a pipeline connected to the Warri refinery, which is operated by NNPC. The group also stated that it blew up two trunk lines close to Batan flow station in Delta state, run by NPDC, and attacked two Chevron facilities close to Abiteye flow station.

"As a matter of long-standing policy, we do not comment on the safety and security of our personnel and operations," a Chevron spokesperson told Rigzone.

NNPC was not immediately available for comment. Twitter has since suspended the official NDA account.

Nigeria’s President Buhari called on community leaders in the Niger Delta to pacify the people of the region, following a number of attacks on oil and gas instalations over the last few months. Following Buhari’s message, the NDA posted a defiant response on its website.

“There are problem in the Niger Delta region such as underdevelopment, environmental degradation, lack of infrastructure and the issue of self-determination. These are the areas Mr. President should focus on,” said NDA spokesperson Brig.Gen Mudoch Agbinibo.

“The Nigeria army will never get us,” he added.

Recent attacks on Nigeria’s energy infrastructure have sent shockwaves throughout the region as the disruption in supply poses a significant threat to the economy.

These attacks, carried out by the NDA, have pushed Nigeria’s crude output to a 20 year low, Verisk Maplecroft Senior Africa Analyst Malte Liewerscheidt told Rigzone. The result is “offsetting the benefits of a 70 percent oil price rally since January 2016,” he said.

In February, the NDA blew up a Royal Dutch Shell underwater pipeline, which forced the company to shut down its 250,000 barrel per day Forcados export terminal for weeks. May saw several other attacks in the region, with NDA bombing Chevron’s Okan Valve Platform offshore facility in the Western Niger Delta at the start of the month, which resulted in an oil spill at the site.

The latest wave of attacks in the Delta comes in response to the government’s winding down of a 2009 amnesty deal for Niger Delta insurgents.

Liewerscheidt warned last month that a further escalation of the security crisis in Nigeria is increasingly likely as negotiating a new deal with the militants or simply reinstating the old amnesty program is “off the table, at least for now – due to both the actual as well as the political costs involved”.

Recent media reports suggested that the NDA were on the brink of agreeing a ceasefire deal with the government, in order to allow it to meet its demands. These reports were categorically denied by the NDA in a Twitter statement.

In addition to the latest attacks by the NDA, Bloomberg reported July 2 that gunmen opened fire on a boat transporting Eni SpA workers in the Niger Delta region, killing at least two people, Eni said in an emailed statement. It is not clear which militant group the gunmen belong to at this time.

Reuters contributed to this article

A graduate in journalism from Cardiff University, Andreas has eight years of experience as a business journalist. Email Andreas at andreas.exarheas@rigzone.com

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