06 June 2016, News Wires – Attacks by Niger Delta militants on facilities operated by Eni and Aiteo oil firms have led to a combined loss of 140,000 barrels of crude per day, translating to the loss of about N1.3 billion daily, at an estimated price of $48 per barrel, amounting to $6.72 million or N1.3billion.
The attacks believed to be carried out by the militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers, caused the huge loss from their oilfields in Bayelsa State, according to Eni and Aiteo.
Eni, the Italian energy firm and parent company of Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), said its production was cut by 65,000 barrels per day following Friday’s attack on its pipeline in Bayelsa.
Earlier attacks in the oilfield on May 18 and 24 had resulted in a shutdown of some 5,200 barrels of the company’s production.
An Eni spokesperson confirmed the development in an email to journalists yesterday.
“The total deferred production due to the attack is 65,000 barrels of oil equivalent daily. I can confirm that. There is no further impact on the production, since all production from the swamp area had already been stopped days ago,” the email from Eni’s media relations unit said.
Similarly, Aiteo, operator of the Nembe Creek Trunk Line, said the line was shut after it came under attack on May 28 by militants believed to be members of the Niger Delta Avengers. The line conveys crude to Bonny export terminal.
The company’s spokesperson, Shola Omole, disclosed that about 75,000 barrels daily production have been deferred as the line remained shut.
Although the report could not obtain figures from Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, the oil firm had placed its oil exports from Bonny export terminal under force majeure.
SPDC, which in 2014 sold the 100km Nembe Creek Trunk Line to Aiteo, still relies on the line to lift crude produced from onshore oilfields in Bayelsa State to the Bonny Terminal in Rivers State.
The minister of state for petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, had on Thursday said that Nigeria was producing 1.6 million barrels per day which exclude further production outages due to attack on Agip, Chevron, and Shell at the weekend.
As tensions continue to rise in the Niger Delta with the Nigerian military deploying attack aircraft and naval war boats to the region, experts have expressed concerns that the development could affect the implementation of the 2016 budget premised on a daily crude oil production of 2.2 million barrels.
However, the Niger Delta Avengers, which has claimed responsibility for most of the recent attacks, has so far rejected dialogue with the federal government.
DSS to quiz Dudafa, Akpobolokemi over Niger Delta Avengers
The Department of State Services, DSS, is considering questioning some associates of former President Goodluck Jonathan to unravel their alleged links with the new militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers.
Although a source close to the undercover agency hinted that more may be quizzed, he specifically mentioned former presidential aide, Mr. Waripamowei Dudafa, and Jonathan’s cousin, Robert Azibola, as possible guests of the DSS within the week to explain what they know about the new militant group.
The source disclosed that former director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Patrick Akpobolokemi, might also be invited for questioning. Incidentally, the trio of Dudafa, Azibola and Akpobolokemi are having running battles with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
While the latter is already in court on multiple charges courtesy of the anti-graft body, the duo of Dudafa and Azibola are yet to be charged to court weeks after their arrest and detention. Their lawyers have petitioned relevant agencies over the ordeal of their clients even as Dudafa had complained that he had been denied medical attention while in EFCC custody.
But the source confided in our correspondent that the inability of the EFCC to effect the bail of both the former president’s cousin and aides was as a result of an ongoing searchlight on the duo.
“The issue of their bail or not is beyond the EFCC. Remember that once national security is involved, nothing will be left unturned to unravel whatever that needed to be exposed.
“As a body, we have been inundated with reports that the trio of Akpobolokemi, Dudafa and Azibola were at the Yenagoa meeting in January 2015 where some ex-militants vowed to make Nigeria ungovernable if Jonathan lost the presidential election.
“What are we seeing today? Is it not violence and renewed militancy? So we are going to find out the links they have with the so-called avengers before the issue of their bail could come up because we won’t compromise national security under any guise.
“We were not merely playing to the gallery when we said officials of the past administration were possible sponsors. We have just started and why we can mention names to be quizzed is because they are already in our custody and we can’t mention others under surveillance so as not to jeopardize the investigation,” he said.