Fierce looking members of the Nigerian Army invaded Oporoza, the traditional headquarters of Gbaramatu Kingdom again in wee hours of today (Sunday) in search of Niger Delta Avengers’ members.
After members of Niger Delta Avengers bombed another oil facility belonging to Chevron Nigeria Limited, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the Nigerian Military to capture the culprits by all means. Following this order, the Military invaded Oporoza twice within one week.
An Army officer who spoke anonymously stated that “Members of Nigerian Army captured five members of Niger Delta Avengers, one of which is believed to be one of the leaders of the dreaded group. Following the bombing, we established a wide perimeter and initiated a high security search.
“The suspects were taken into the custody of the army in the area, but are yet to make statements or admit if they are members of the Niger Delta Avengers or otherwise. They have been relocated to the 19th Battalion, Nigerian Army, Koko, Warri North.”
Bloomberg reports that the recent wave of attacks by Militants have hit infrastructure, taking Nigeria’s output down to 20-year lows.
With no solution in sight to the problems that beset the delta’s creeks and mangrove swamps, production from onshore and shallow-water oil fields looks vulnerable. If the latest group of freedom fighters seeks to outdo its predecessors, then deep-water facilities may be at risk too.
The Niger Delta Avengers have certainly been busy, forcing Shell’s Forcados terminal to shut in about 250,000 barrels of daily exports; and breaching an offshore Chevron facility in the 160,000 barrels per day Escravos system. In April, ENI had to declare force majeure — letting it stop shipments without breaching contracts — on exports of its Brass River grade after a pipeline fire.
In its latest report, the IEA assessed the world’s need for OPEC crude this quarter at 31.9 million barrels a day, with Nigeria contributing 1.62 million to the group’s 32.76 million output in April. This a far cry from projected daily output captured in the just approved national budget.