Militants Bomb NPDC Facilities, Threaten Secession

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The attacks on oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta continued Thursday evening with the bombing of a pipeline belonging to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

Sources told one of our correspondents that the incident happened at 7:40pm around the Shalomi Creek in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State.

Multiple security sources in the area confirmed the incident to one of our correspondents at about 8:50pm.

No group, including the Niger Delta Avengers, which has claimed responsibility for series of attacks on oil facilities in the past, has claimed responsibility for Thursday’s incident.

The commander, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Delta, Commodore Riami Mohammed, when contacted at about 9:09pm, denied knowledge of the incident. He promised to investigate and get back to our correspondent but had yet to do so as of the time of filing this report.

But a senior military officer, who spoke on condition anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the issue, confirmed the development.

The source said details of the incident were still sketchy due to the time it took place.

The Niger Delta Avengers had earlier on Thursday threatened to secede from the country, saying that successive governments had been unfair to the people of the Niger Delta region.

It said that what the people of the Niger Delta had been asking for from successive governments in Nigeria was the provision of basic amenities and inclusiveness.

The group called on the international community, especially Britain, France, United States, Russia and China not to allow the region to go the way of Sudan.

In a statement issued by its spokesperson, Murdoch Agbinibo, the NDA maintained that all that successive governments wanted was the flow of crude oil from the region and not its development.

It vowed to remedy the age-long devastation against the region with every means necessary.

It said in the statement, “Since the amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914 to date, our resources have been used to sustain the political administrative livewire of Nigeria to the exclusion of the Niger Delta.

“Finally, we are calling on the international community to come and support the restoration of our right to peaceful self-determination from this tragedy of 1914 that has expired since 2014.

 “We want our resources back to restore the essence of human life in our region for generations to come because Nigeria has failed to do that. The world should not wait until we go the Sudan way. Enough is enough.

“This history of terror, we the Niger Delta Avengers will resist and correct with every means necessary. We have nothing to lose in the battle ahead.”

It added, “Justice, they say, is only found within the structure of a nation state; rather than provide justice, the Nigerian government has decided to mobilise her military might to intimidate, torture, maim, victimise and bombard a section of the nation and her citizenry to allow the free flow of our oil.

“Since the day crude oil was discovered in commercial quantity and quality in Oloibiri in the present day Bayelsa State, what we have being asking from successive governments in Nigeria is potable drinking water, electricity, roads, employment, quality education, resource control and inclusive governance.”

The threat of secession came just as crude oil production in the country suffered further threats with the Trans Niger Pipeline, one of two major pipelines transporting the Bonny Light crude grade for export, being shut.

The TNP, which is operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, was shut on Wednesday after a leak was found, a Shell spokesperson told one of our correspondents on Thursday.

“We are conducting a joint investigation visit comprising officials of the SPDC, the regulators and the communities to determine the cause of the leak and the volume affected,” he said.

One source referring to a memo sent out to participants in the TNP said it was expected to be down for at least a week and would see around 130,000 barrels per day of production shut-in, according to Reuters.

The shutdown comes just as repairs were completed on the Nembe Creek Trunk Line that also moves the major export grade.

In early May, force majeure, a legal clause that allows companies to cancel or delay deliveries due to unforeseen circumstances, was declared by Royal Dutch Shell on Bonny Light exports after the NCTL was closed.

The TNP transports around 180,000 barrels of crude oil per day to the Bonny Export Terminal and is part of the gas liquids evacuation infrastructure, critical for continued domestic power generation at the Afam VI power plant, and liquefied gas exports, Shell said on its website.

The United States’ Energy Information Administration on Thursday said the massive wildfire in Canada, militant attacks on oil facilities in Nigeria, political strife in Libya and power outages complicated by bad weather in Iraq cut an average of 3.6 million barrels of oil a day from the global crude supply in May.

The EIA said May’s unplanned disruptions were the largest since the agency began tracking the date in 2011.

The wildfire in Canada’s oil sands region knocked an average of 800,000 bpd out of production, with a peak disruption of 1.1 million barrels. Production began coming back online earlier this month.

Nigeria’s production averaged a drop of 800,000 bpd in May as militant attacks increased on oil and natural gas facilities. Production from the country fell to its lowest level since the 1980s, according to the EIA.

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