Niger Delta militants claim attack on state-owned NNPC’s oil pipeline

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YENAGOA, Nigeria Nov 28 (Reuters) – Vandals have attacked a crude pipeline operated by Nigeria’s state oil firm NNPC and independent Nigerian firm ND Western in the restive Niger Delta, a community leader said on Monday.

“The incident led to fire outbreak,” Paul Etaga, chairman of Ughelli south council area said, when asked about a claim by a militant group called Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate of an attack of the pipeline in Out-Jeremi, Delta State.

Nigeria’s crude production, which was 2.1 million barrels per day (bpd) at the start of 2016, fell by around a third in the summer following a series of attacks since January by Delta militants who want a greater share of the country’s energy wealth to go to the impoverished southern oil-producing region.

Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate, which has claimed previous attacks, said in a statement it had carried out the attack at about 4am on Sunday and “brought down the 42 inch delivery line operated by NPDC/ND Western in Out-Jeremi”.

There was no immediate information on the impact on Nigeria’s oil production. The fields in the area – Utorogu, Ughelli East, and Ughelli West – produce an average of 17,000 bpd of oil and condensate.

According to Wood Mackenzie data, oil production from the fields feed into the Trans Forcados Pipeline, which itself was closed due to other militant attacks.

The statistics office said last week third-quarter oil production stood at 1.63 million barrels per day, down from 1.69 million and 2.2 million barrels assumed for the budget. (Reporting by Tife Owolabi; additional reporting by Libby George; Writing by Chijioke Ohuocha; editing by Susan Thomas)

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