Barely one year after Mr. Muhammadu Buhari assumed office as the president of Nigeria, the country has experienced a series of attacks on oil infrastructure in the Niger Delta, which has pushed Nigeria’s output of crude close to a 22-year low.
According to data compiled by Bloomberg, output of crude has fallen below 1.7 million barrels per day (bpd) for the first time since 1994.
Recall that last week, the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) attacked the Okan offshore facility operated by US oil major Chevron, causing it to shut down.
The company said on Saturday that some 35,000 bpd of crude was lost, although some estimates have put the loss higher.
Similarly, the Royal Dutch Shell local operation shut its major pipeline following a leak.
The leakage was also as a result of recent attacks on oil pipelines by the Niger Delta militants.
Shell, further announced that it has closed its Nembe crude trunk line which carries all of Nigeria’s crude.
However, in his reaction to the vandalism which could possibly scare investors away from the country, Buhari said there would be a crackdown on “vandals and saboteurs” in the Niger Delta.
But the Militants said that they have no intentions to desist from the attacks until the Federal Government meet their demands, threatening to attack oil installations in Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
“We want to pass this message to the all international oil companies operating in the Niger Delta that the Nigeria Military can’t protect their facilities. They should talk to the federal government to meet our demands else more mishaps will befall their installations.”
The immediate demand by the militants is the implementation of the report of the 2014 national conference and that the ownership of oil blocks must reflect 60 per cent for the oil-producing people and 40 per cent for others.
Meanwhile, a senior energy analyst with JBC Energy in Vienna, Austria, Eugene Lindell expressing concern, said that “If it continues like this … there are companies who will probably not consider Nigeria for upstream investments.”