We're targeting an FPSO offshore Nigeria, militant group warns

The long-dormant Niger Delta Avengers said its militants are tracking the movement of a Total floating production vessel about 80 miles off the Nigeria coast.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  Jan. 17, 2018 at 8:51 AM
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Jan. 17 (UPI) -- The Niger Delta Avengers, a sporadic militant group in Nigeria, said Wednesday its next round of attacks targeting deep water operations will be bloody.

Nigeria is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries that's exempt from its effort to balance an oversupplied market with coordinated production cuts. Nigeria got the exemption because it needs oil revenue to support national security efforts.

In November, the long-dormant Niger Delta Avengers said a militant cease-fire was over and the next campaign would be "brutish, brutal and bloody."

In its latest message, the militant group said it would target offshore installations in its "most deadly" campaign yet. In a warning to French energy company Total, the NDA said it was tracking the movement of the Egina floating production, storage and offloading vessel.

"We mean it when we say they, the oil installations, shall dance to the sound of the fury of the Niger Delta Avengers," the group said in a statement. "Good a thing the ocean is wide enough to accommodate as many wreck as possible."

It warned specifically that it was aiming to bring down an FPSO off the Nigeria coast. Total said its Egina vessel was about 80 miles off the coast of Nigeria in waters about a mile deep. With a start date in 2018, the French supermajor said it was expecting a production rate of around 200,000 barrels per day

Nigeria's economy emerged from recession in the second quarter of last year and third quarter growth of 1.4 percent year-over-year was its fastest in nearly two years. Total production in November, the last full month for which OPEC published data, was 1.8 million barrels per day.

The last time the NDA took credit for an attack of note was during the second week of November 2016 when it said its rebel forces attacked an export pipeline controlled in part by a Shell subsidiary that has the capacity to carry as much as 300,000 barrels per day.

In explaining the November 2017 call to arms, the NDA said it stood down because of the intervention of "overzealous and over-patriotic elders." Spokesman Murdoch Agbinibo said now to prepare for the "brutal out pour of our wrath."

Total did not respond to questions from UPI about the threat.

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