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Energy jitters in Nigeria

July 16, 2009 at 12:44 PM   |   Comments

LAGOS, Nigeria, July 16 (UPI) -- Foreign investors are exploring their options outside of Nigeria as the country lags in its obligations for resource development because of militant activity.

Nigeria has been unable to meet its commitments to its partners and customers in terms of energy resources because of attacks by militant groups operating in the Niger Delta, Nigeria's Guardian newspaper reports.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta launched a series of attacks on oil facilities operated by Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell in recent days. The group has declared an oil war on the Nigeria government, demanding a share in national oil revenue.

Petroleum officials in Nigeria said national security is vital for economic security in the country, adding intermittent disruptions due to militant activity sends "negative signals" to major energy companies.

Royal Dutch Shell, for its part, says production is down nearly 35 percent, though the Nigerian government says it has adequate reserves in storage. The government also downplayed the impact of MEND activity.

Despite that optimism, oil and gas majors are moving their attention from African markets to more secure options in the Middle East and Russia, the report says.

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