Twelve militant attacks on oil facilities in Nigeria’s o il producing Niger Delta region caused a shut-in of 589,000 barrels per day betw e en May and June, the local press Tuesday quoted state-run Nigerian National Petr o leum Corporation (NNPC) as saying.
The report quoted NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Sanusi Barkindo, as saying tha t the attacks targetted Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell, Italian firm Agip, American
oil giant Chevron as well as the NNPC.
The main militant group Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) laun ched the attacks in May, in response to a military offensive against oil militan t s by the military Joint Task Force deployed to the region to protect the facilit i es.
The attacks have forced Shell to declare a force majeure, while indications are that Chevron may also follow suit, following Sunday’s attacks on some strategic f acilities servicing the firm’s Escravos Tank Farm and Crude Loading Terminal.
MEND has rejected an amnesty recently announced for the militants by President U maru Yar’Adua, instead opting for an armistice.
The militant group said its attacks were aimed at crippling Nigeria’s oil produc tion and export to force the government to address issues of fiscal federalism a s a basis for ending the spiralling violence in the restive oil region.