Nigeria’s oil production suffered another decline as the militant group, Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, attacked Chevron’s facilities, yesterday.
This came as leaders of besieged Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South-West Local Government Area, Delta State, yesterday, and called on the Federal and Delta State governments, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, and other humanitarian organizations to come to the assistance of thousands of refugees of the current crisis in the kingdom.
This is even as Niger Delta elders raised the alarm that some unpatriotic but powerful individuals with an agenda to destabilise President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and return Nigeria to the dark days, are responsible for the spate of bombings of oil facilities in the area, using a faceless group known as Niger Delta Avengers.
The NDA attacked Chevron’s oil wells at Dibi, Warri North Local Government Area, while soldiers, who had laid siege to Oporoza and other Gbaramatu communities in Warri South West Local Government Area, in the last five days, were carrying out cordon-and-search operations for arms and ammunition.
Ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, who seems to be the chief target of the Joint Task Force, JTF, in the Niger Delta, in a statement, claimed he had relocated from Gbaramatu Kingdom, but it appears the military does not believe him.
Confirming the incident, a security staff of the company told Vanguard on phone that the head office of the company had been contacted on the incident and efforts were on to curtail the spill.
A source told Vanguard: “It was in Warri North, Egbema Kingdom, at Opia/Ikia axis, around Dibi/Olero. It started from around 3:15 a.m. until around 4:45 a.m. this morning (yesterday).
The blowing up of the oil wells came at a time crude oil price at the international market declined from $50 recorded last week to $49 per barrel on market pessimism over whether the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, could cut a meaningful agreement at its meeting in Vienna on Thursday.
According to Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, sources, the country’s oil production has gone below 1.2 million barrels recorded early this week.
According to Reuters, Gary Ross, a veteran OPEC watcher and founder of US-based PIRA consultancy, the market was getting more pessimistic not only about “non-OPEC but also about OPEC supply. “The main story today is the one of declining output. The global demand is still growing strongly and that works in OPEC’s favour,” he said.
The 13-member OPEC will, for the first time, meet with Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Naimi, Saudi Arabia’s new oil minister, who has been outspoken about not reducing oil production. Gulf OPEC members, including Saudi Arabia, are looking to revive the idea of co-ordinated oil-output action by major producers.
(Additional reporting by Vanguard NG, Reuters/ Dan Osaro)
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