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Militancy slows Nigeria’s LNG export by over 22%

Following spates of militancy attacks on gas pipelines in the Niger Delta region, Nigeria’s export of Liquefied Natural Gas, LNG, has dropped to 22.3 percent.

One of Nigeria’s biggest markets, Japan’s Ministry of Finance, said on Tuesday, that its LNG imports reached 6.4 million metric tonnes in April, down 3.3 percent from a year ago as a result of lower supply from Qatar and Nigeria.

The country said shipments from Nigeria fell 22.3 percent from a year earlier to 143, 347 mt in April.

Meanwhile, oil producers in Canada are moving to regain its OPEC market share, resuming production after wildfires eased.

However, analysts are worried that consistent attacks on Nigeria’s oil pipelines by militant, forcing companies to evacuate workers from deep-waters, may not end soon.

Since militants resumed attacks on Nigeria’s oil pipelines months back, the country has witnessed drop in exports, the lowest level in more than two decades, leading to huge losses in terms of foreign earnings.

The attacks were recently linked to a new militant group, The Niger Delta Avengers after old group, Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta, MEND, denied responsibility for the attacks.

NDA has launched multiple attacks on oil and gas installations in the Niger Delta, the third and most recent being the Nembe 1, 2 and 3 gas and crude trunk line that linked Brass and Bonny. The pipelines belonged to Agip and Shell Corporation.

The group had also threatened to launch bigger attacks warning oil companies to stay off the creeks or daring to repair the damaged pipelines until their demands are not met.

On Monday, the Nigerian Army said it had arrested 10 suspected members of the militant group. The suspects were said to have been arrested at about 1:40am on Saturday in Oporaza community, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State, following a search conducted in the community. The Commander of the 4 Brigade, Brigadier-General Farouk Yahaya, who paraded the suspects on Sunday in Benin, the Edo State capital,  said  there had been  cases of sabotage by suspected militants and vandals in Delta State since January 1, 2016 and threats “to shut down all operations” in the sector.

Meanwhile, Niger Delta community leaders and activists have voiced support for the NDA, saying their demands for a greater share of oil wealth match the aspirations of local people.

At a stakeholders’ meeting held Thursday in the southern town of Warri, community leaders accused the Nigerian government of a heavy-handed military campaign and warned of continuing attacks that have already cut Nigeria’s production by more than 40 percent, causing the nation to lose its place as the biggest producer on the continent to Angola.


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