A Conoil oil facility in Bayelsa was on Friday 04 January hit by a bomb blast from a Niger Delta militant group calling itself the Koluama Seven Brothers.
The group claimed responsibility, saying the attack was a “warning” strike and threatening to shut down completely all production at the facility if its demands were not immediately met.
The group said it is demanding jobs for their teeming youths from the companies operating in the area.
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps [NSCDC] confirmed the incident, saying it heard the blast Friday around a Conoil pipeline in Bayelsa and was still investigating.
Conoil operates about six highly prospective blocks in the Niger Delta region with production of over 80,000 barrels of oil per day.
Only exactly a week ago, a coalition of Niger Delta agitators which called itself Niger Delta Creek Warriors said it was withdrawing from the “ceasefire deal with the federal government”, and gave a seven days ultimatum for government to among other things commence the Ogoni clean-up, take-off of Brass LNG project, adequate funding of Okerenkoko Maritime University, upgrading of Maritime Academy, Oron to university status, immediate take-off of Gelegele seaport in Edo State among other things.
It is unclear if the Friday blast is connected to the threat issued last week and if it is an indication of resumption of hostilities.
The Niger Delta oil-producing region of Nigeria has been restive from allegation of years of neglect, but several government intervention to broker peace including an amnesty program and the Niger Delta Development Commission had been put in place in an attempt to assuage the agitators.
In 2016 oil production declined to about 700,000 barrels per day from 2 million due to attacks, contributing to push Nigeria into its first recession in 25 years.