ABUJA, Nigeria, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- The group calling itself the Niger Delta Avengers said its fighters on Tuesday took out an oil export pipeline in Nigeria operated by Chevron.
"This action is to further warn all international oil companies that when we warn that there should be no repairs pending negotiation/dialogue with the people of the Niger Delta, it means there should be no repairs," Niger Delta Avengers spokesman Mudoch Agbinibo said in a statement.
The militant group, which surfaced early this year, is fighting for a greater share of the oil wealth from Nigeria, which is a member of the Organization of Exporting Countries. The group has been in various stages of peace talks with the government since the summer.
Nigerian crude oil production had been suppressed by conflict early this year, though the latest data from OPEC finds recovery was underway. Total crude oil production last month was around 1.52 million barrels per day, according to secondary sources, which was about 7 percent higher than the previous month, though still about 20 percent less than it was last year.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. said it lost out on hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude oil due to unrest and banditry during the first five months of the year. A budget, meanwhile, from the government in Abuja is based on production of around 2.2 million bpd.
Nigeria wants an exemption from a proposed production ceiling coordinated last month by OPEC members. Its economy has flirted with recession amid the dual strains from militants and lower crude oil prices. Oil contributed about 10 percent to the country's gross domestic product.
The Niger Delta Avengers added that any further efforts by the government to mediate as a distraction to allow for the resumption of crude oil exports would halt any further efforts at negotiation.