Chevron has had another oil facility hit by an explosion in Nigeria's Niger Delta, where militancy is on the rise.
An explosion rocked a Chevron oil pipeline in Nigeria's restive Delta region on Friday, a security source said, the second blast at a facility of the U.S. oil major within a week, feeding concern over a revived militant campaign in the area. The swamps of the southern Delta have been hit by a series of militant attacks on pipelines and other oil and gas facilities that have reduced Nigeria's output by 300,000 barrels a day and closed a major export port and two refineries. Last week, militants calling themselves the Niger Delta Avengers claimed an attack on a Chevron Platform in the Delta. The group has warned oil firms to leave the region within two weeks and says it is fighting for independence for Delta. It had earlier said it wanted a greater share of oil revenues and an end to oil pollution. The attacks have driven Nigerian oil output to near a 22-year low and, if the violence escalates into another insurgency, it could cripple output in a country facing a growing economic crisis.
The company had in the last few weeks recorded several attacks on its facilities. Friday’s attack occurred in the Marakaba line operated by the oil firm in Warri, Delta State. The Nation gathered that unknown persons detonated explosive on oil well head 10 on the Makaraba line. Sources said Chevron had declared force majeure on the facility since last Wednesday’s attack on the offshore Okan manifold. Friday’s attack, our correspondents gathered, was carried out by persons specifically engaged by contractors to work on damaged oil pipelines in the area.
Earlier on Thursday, Exxon Mobil reportedly declared force majeure on Qua Iboe crude after an accident the company said was not related to militant attacks. Exxon said a subsea pipeline linking to Qua Iboe was damaged by a drilling rig. Then, early on Friday, unnamed traders cited by both Bloomberg and Reuters claimed that Exxon had declared force majeure on Qua Iboe crude deliveries. Qua Iboe is Nigeria's largest crude stream. May should have seen some 337,000 barrels per day of Qua Iboe exported this month, according to Reuters. On Wednesday, Royal Dutch Shell declared force majeure on its exports of Bonny Light crude. Shell has been forced to evacuate staff from its Eja OML 79 production facility.