NIGERIA’S oil production fell by 17.48% in Q2, contributing to the nation reporting an overall decline of 2.06% in gross domestic product (GDP) for the second consecutive quarter, pushing the country toward recession.
Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics estimated that production fell by 420,000 bbl/d to 1.69m bbl/d in Q2 and down 470,000 bbl/d since Q4 of 2015. The majority of the production deficit since the start of the year can be linked to a series of attacks from militant groups, most notably from the Niger Delta Avengers.
A series of attacks in May–July resulted in the loss of output from facilities owned by Chevron, Shell and Eni. The group attacked pipelines and platforms in order to halt oil production in the Niger Delta region where the militants want a greater share of the oil wealth. The group’s aim was to destabilise Nigeria’s economy, which is heavily dependent on oil, and trigger a recession.
The group’s Twitter account was shut down in July; however the group said on its website that the reported ceasefire with the Nigerian government was untrue and that the group is still committed to destabilising Nigeria’s oil infrastructure. Other militant groups have also carried out attacks on oil facilities.
While the Nigerian government has not commented on the potential for recession for the country, it has, according to local media, deployed more personnel from the Nigerian Air Force yesterday to combat militants in the Niger Delta region.
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