Niger Delta Attacks Threaten West African Production, Power Supply
Recent attacks on Nigeria’s energy infrastructure are sending shockwaves throughout the region as the disruption in supply poses a significant threat to the economy.
Oil producing assets in the Niger Delta have driven production down by almost 40% to 1.4 million B/D, the country’s oil minister has said.
These attacks—carried out by a group that calls itself the Niger Delta Avengers—have pushed Nigeria’s crude output to a 20 year low, Verisk Maplecroft Senior Africa Analyst Malte Liewerscheidt said. The result is “offsetting the benefits of a 70% oil price rally since January 2016,” he said.
“Disruption to energy infrastructure in the delta has tremendous repercussions for the economy as a whole, and the shockwaves are being felt even beyond Nigeria’s borders,” Liewerscheidt said.
“In addition to Nigeria itself, the attacks are having devastating effects on power supply in Benin, Togo, and Ghana, which rely on Nigerian gas supplied through the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP). Power supply in Nigeria, which has been erratic for many years, dropped by another 50% between January and May. Meanwhile, gas supply through the WAGP, which is supposed to fuel power plants along the West African coast, is down by 95% due to pipeline attacks and production shut-ins in Nigeria,” Liewerscheidt said.
The lack of power supply is a severe blow to the region’s industrial sector, he explained, adding that the economies of Nigeria and Ghana are already reeling from the consequences of the commodity price downturn.