The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) group said it had bombed an ExxonMobil facility in southern Nigeria just as Shell announced closure of a key oil pipeline, in the latest blow to output.
“At about 7:30 pm (1830 GMT) the Niger Delta Avengers blow up ExxonMobil Qua Iboe 48? crude oil export pipeline,” the NDA, which has been blamed for a string of attacks on key oil and gas facilities since February, said in a statement late Monday.
The militants said international oil majors had defied its calls for a halt to exports. AFP contacted ExxonMobil but there was no immediate response. The Niger Delta Avengers wants foreign oil companies out of the delta region, arguing local people have failed to benefit from decades of extraction that has generated billions of dollars.
It also wants self-determination and political autonomy for the region. The upsurge in unrest has reduced output in oil-rich Nigeria at a time the country is reeling from low global crude prices that have hammered government revenues.