Nigeria Oil Militant Group Ends Cease-Fire, Pledges Attacks on ‘Every Oil Installation’

egina fpso
The Egina FPSO, the world’s largest, departed a South Korean shipyard this week bound for the ultra-deepwater Egina oil field off the coast of Nigeria.

By Elisha Bala-Gbogbo (Bloomberg) — A militant group in Nigeria’s southern Niger River delta, whose attacks on oil installations in 2016 cut output to the lowest in three decades, said it ended its self-imposed cease-fire and will resume its violent campaign.

“Our operatives are intact and focused, ready to implement instructions,” the Niger Delta Avengers said in a statement on its website on Friday by its spokesman identified as Mudoch Agbinibo. “We can assure you that every oil installation in our region will feel warmth of the wrath.”

The group specifically threatened the disrupt oil production set to start in the first quarter of 2018 at Total SA’s Egina offshore oil field.

Nigeria suffered its worst economic downturn in a quarter century after oil prices and output fell in 2015 amid militant attacks estimated by the government to have caused the loss of $7 billion in revenue.

The attacks subsided after a truce with the group in August last year to allow for peaceful negotiations. The militants have accused President Muhammadu Buhari’s government of being slow to meet their expectations of more local control over the region’s oil resources.

“The Avengers have always shown a willingness and ability to back up their threats with action,” Cheta Nwanze, an analyst at Lagos-based advisory SBM Intelligence, said by phone. “While it is unlikely that they have the capacity to attack all oil installations in the region, they can hit where it will have the most impact.”

© 2017 Bloomberg L.P