Another Oil Pipeline Attack Threatens Cease Fire in Nigeria
With the Nigerian president receiving medical treatment in Saudi Arabia, and the US increasing security checks on the nation, Nigeria was dealt another blow Friday by the latest attack on a crude oil pipeline by Nigerian militants. According to the Wall Street Journal, unknown gunmen attacked a pipeline operated by US oil giant Chevron, forcing the company to cut production by 20,000 barrels a day.
The pipeline sabotage is the second of its kind in the last several months, with the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) taking responsibility for a similar attack in late December. Two days later Shell, a target of the attack, looked to unload its Nigerian assets. Among other political reasons, Shell appears to be tired of the unyielding conflict in the area.
This latest attack could threaten a very shaky amnesty deal established by the government back in October, when thousands of militants turned over their weapons and called a truce. As Nigeria grapples with these issues far from the United States, they are likely to directly affect heating oil and other energy consumers. Attacks like the one on Friday decrease the world’s oil supply, wreak havoc on the industry, and generally end up raising prices here at home.