A militant group in the Niger Delta said it targeted a Chevron pipeline in the region after the company failed to heed a warning issued in mid-May.
In a May 12 statement, the Nigerian militant group warned Chevron that it should be wary of working in the region because, while the government and international oil companies work to exploit the reserves, the people in the region are left “to rot.”
“We are coming for you,” spokesperson Mudoch Agbinibo said at the time.
The group in a manifesto released earlier this month warned oil companies the attacks on their infrastructure was “just the beginning.” The Niger Delta Avengers said it was frustrated by what it saw as a lack of attention to the region paid by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.
Nigeria’s oil-dependent economy has struggled under the strains that have emerged since crude oil prices first dropped below the $100 per barrel mark in 2014. The International Monetary Fund warned the impact of lower oil prices were adding to pressure from an economy in need of deep structural reforms. From the pressure of oil prices alone, the government’s deficit doubled to about 3 percent of the gross domestic product last year.
A country profile from the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Nigerian production peaked at 2.4 million bpd in 2005, and activity since then has been curbed in part by violence in the Niger Delta region that forced many energy companies to evacuate their staff.
Concerns about the lack of crude oil supplies in recent weeks pushed the price of oil higher. Brent and West Texas Intermediate, the two primary benchmarks for the price of oil, both breached $50 per barrel in early trading Thursday in part because of supply disruptions in Nigeria.