Armed groups in Nigeria's oil-producing south are building up weapons and supplies for a major attack on an oil facility in the world's eight largest exporter, militant and security sources said on Tuesday. The planned rebel offensive against Africa's largest oil industry comes after the collapse of a government peace initiative.
Unknown attackers blew up a Nigerian crude oil pipeline on Thursday, extending a month-old resurgence of violence against Africa's top oil producer and dashing hopes for a government peace drive. The pipeline attack at Royal Dutch Shell's Forcados oil terminal was a setback to the company's efforts to restore output from the Niger Delta.
There is no fundamental justification for oil at a barrel and Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) member Nigeria is assuming that prices will not last at this level, Oil Minister Odein Ajumogobia said on Saturday. He said that no one in Opec would be surprised if the price fell to in the next few weeks.
Two prominent rebels fighting for autonomy in Nigeria's oil-producing Niger Delta have traded insults in a public dispute that has exposed deep divisions before peace talks with the government. The row between the two militia leaders is apparently over money, weapons and strategy, but analysts say it is a power struggle that will strengthen the government's hand.
Western oil companies reinforced security in Nigeria on Monday after a rebel group threatened to resume attacks on Africa's largest oil industry, but security sources played down the risk of a major disruption. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta threatened fresh attacks on oil facilities.
South Africa's Standard Bank has bought control of IBTC Chartered Bank, it's adviser said on Tuesday, in the first foreign takeover of a Nigerian bank since a sector reform in 2005. Standard Bank had already secured a 33% stake in an agreed purchase last September and offered -million for a further 17% in a tender offer that closed on Monday night.
A strike in Africa's top oil producer began on Wednesday after unions rejected government concessions on fuel prices as too little too late. The offices of Western oil companies operating in Nigeria were closed along with most other businesses, but oil production and exports were uninterrupted, company officials said.
Nigeria's new government is moving quickly to bring its oil-producing delta region back from the brink of anarchy, but violence in Africa's top producer is still driving away investment. resident Umaru Yar'Adua's early efforts to build confidence among militant leaders are already showing results and two armed groups have freed a total of 19 hostages.
Gunmen disguised as riot police have abducted four foreign workers from the residential compound of oil-services giant Schlumberger in Nigeria's oil city Port Harcourt, authorities said on Saturday. Kidnapping has become an almost daily occurrence in the anarchic Niger Delta, home to Africa's largest oil industry, and about 30 foreigners are now being held.
Umaru Yar'Adua took office as President of Nigeria on Tuesday, promising to tackle a catalogue of crises in Africa's most populous nation and conceding that his own election was ''not perfect''. In his inaugural address at a military parade ground in the capital, Abuja, Yar'Adua began by saying there were ''lapses and shortcomings'' in the vote.
Umaru Yar'Adua takes office as president of Nigeria on Tuesday, inheriting a catalogue of crises compounded by doubts over his own legitimacy after a flawed election. The 56-year-old state governor was handed a landslide victory in last month's presidential poll, described as ''not credible'' by international observers.
Nigerian oil unions pulled many staff from crude export terminals on the second day of a strike on Friday, but shipments from the world's eighth largest exporter were uninterrupted, authorities said. The strike by union members in the national oil company and the Department of Petroleum Resources, the industry regulator, began on Thursday.