Avengers claim attack on oil pipelines in Niger Delta

The Niger Delta Avengers militant group claimed attacks on three oil pipelines in southern Nigeria on Tuesday, saying they would slash the OPEC-member’s production by 300,000 barrels per day.

Attacks on pipelines by several militant groups have cut Nigeria’s oil output, helping to tip the country into recession as it struggles to adapt to the low price of crude globally.

The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), blamed for a wave of such attacks since the start of the year, said the latest bombings were to protest the government’s handling of problems facing the oil region.

“At about 11.45 pm November 15, 2016, our Elite Strike Team 03 struck Nembe 1, 2 and 3 truck line operated by Agip, Oando and Shell with supply capacity of 300,000 barrel per day,” the NDA said in a statement.

“We are only reiterating our strong resolve that time is running (out) against the Nigerian government, that there is doom ahead,” it said.

“The Nigerian government needs our cooperation more than we need the government as it concerns the extraction of the crude oil and hydrocarbon resources in our God-given land,” it said.

There was no immediate confirmation of the attacks from the government.

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) said on Wednesday that an Agip pipeline in Bayelsa was attacked on Monday.

“I got a report from my men in the field that two explosions rocked the pipeline located in Southern Ijaw,” Bayelsa state NSCDC commandant Desmond Agu told AFP.

Nigeria has deployed troops to end the renewed insurgency in the region and has initiated peace talks with the oil rebels.

But divisions between rival militant groups appear to be frustrating the government’s efforts to strike a lasting peace deal.

A 2009 amnesty deal with militants helped reduce acts of sabotage, but the violence reignited after President Muhammadu Buhari’s cash-strapped government temporarily ended amnesty payments and charged a prominent warlord with graft.