Nigeria pipeline blast slashes production
March 16, 2009
Militants have sabotaged an oil pipeline operated by Chevron Corp. in southern Nigeria, slashing its daily production by more than 10,000 barrels, according to the Associated Press. Military authorities said the attack caused four oil spills. Col. Rabe Abubakar blamed militants who split from a well-known gang leader who had agreed to suspend attacks on oil infrastructure in areas under his control. Three years of rising violence across Nigeria''s southern oil region has led to a 25 percent decrease in output -- to under 2 million barrels a day. Chevron said the piercing of its pipeline had caused it to lose 11,500 barrels of oil production a day. The militants'' campaign to bomb pipelines is aimed at forcing the federal government to send more oil-industry funds to their areas. Kidnappings, robbery and other crimes are now endemic in the south. The government says the militants are little better than common criminals who use political rhetoric to cloak their lucrative trade in stolen oil.