A new militant group in the oil-rich Niger Delta is calling off the war it had threatened to start on June 30, and has decided to “give peace a chance”, in what could be a relief for Nigeria that has just started to recover its oil production that was crippled by militant attacks last year.
The New Delta Avengers said at the beginning of June that they were declaring war on Nigeria’s oil infrastructure, threatening (again) the fragile but gradual recovery of the country’s crude oil production.
But on Wednesday, the New Delta Avengers said in an open letter, as quoted by Reuters:
“NDA has decided to shelve our planned attack on major oil facilities in the region from June 30, 2017.”
“We have decided to give peace a chance,” the group, previously unheard-of said in its letter, noting that they decided to call off the ‘war’ to help local community Edwin Clark continue negotiations for a peaceful resolution. The New Delta Avengers—named in an apparent nod to the Niger Delta Avengers that were the most active militant group in the Delta last year—had threatened attacks because they wanted a larger share of revenues from oil sales to go to the Niger Delta region.
Nigerian crude production increased to 1.68 million bpd by 174,200 bpd over April—the highest level in more than a year—after the restart of Forcados loadings for the first time since October 2016, according to OPEC’s latest Monthly Oil Market Report.
With the militants calling off the war on oil infrastructure, Nigeria—exempt from the OPEC output cuts—can hope to further increase its crude oil production. However, as good as it would be for the country’s economy, it’s surely not good for fellow OPEC members who are cutting and hoping the cuts would draw down global inventories and lift oil prices.