Nigerian Oil Crisis

Nigerian Oil Crisis

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Nigerian Oil Crisis
date=2004– ongoing

caption=Map of Nigeria
place=Niger Delta, Nigeria
combatant2=Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta;
Niger Delta People's Volunteer Force

combatant3= Niger Delta Vigilante
commander1= Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo
commander2= "Unknown";
Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari

commander3= Ateke Tom

In 2004, Nigeria was rocked by a crisis in the oil industry which, coupled with the continuing problems in Iraq and contracted petrol supplies offered by Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries, has serious implications for the entire world community. In 2004, world consumption of crude oil is on track to surpass 82 million barrels (13,000,000 m³) per day, 30 billion barrels (4.8 km³) per year. This puts consumption equal to production leaving no surplus capacity.



* September 25, 2004 – The Niger Delta People's Volunteer Force (NDPVF), the largest rebel group in Nigeria, threatens to attack the wells and pipelines of the oil-rich Niger Delta Region. This was preceded by an attack on the NDPVF main base by the Nigerian military which had for several months directly attacked the NDPVF while also supporting their rival, the Niger Delta Vigilante. "For more information see Niger Delta conflicts"

* September 26 – The Anglo-Dutch corporation Shell evacuates 235 non-essential personnel from two oil fields. Oil output is cut by 30,000 barrels (4,800 m³) a day.

* September 27
** The NDPVF issues a communique which says that they will declare all-out war on the state on October 1 and advised all remaining foreigners to leave and all companies to shut off production.
**Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo invites the leader of the NDPVF, Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari for negotiations to avert the potential war.

* September 29 – After two days of negotiations, a ceasefire is declared, in which the NDPVF will lay down their arms in exchange for discussions on political and economic autonomy.


* October 5 – Dokubo-Asari withdraws the pledge to fully disarm, saying that he doesn't believe the government is sincere about satisfying his demands. However, talks continue about a peace agreement.

* October 7 – Oil workers across the nation initiate a two day walkout to protest rising oil prices.

* October 8 – Walkout ends. World oil supplies are not noticeably disrupted and prices remain stable at around USD$52.97 a barrel.

* October 9 – The main workers' union, the Nigeria Labour Congress, and its allies threaten a general strike which could have far worse effects than the walkout did; prices jump USD$.30.

* Monday, October 12 – General strike is carried out. For the next four days, workers for the corporations refuse to show up for work in a massive protest about skyrocketing fuel prices.

* Thursday, October 15 – Strike ends. By the end of the day on Friday, prices have shot up to USD$55.

* October 27 – The NLC threatens to hold another general strike as early as November 4 to protest the massive poverty the nation suffers despite huge revenues from the vast oil supply.

* Thursday, October 28 – The NDPVF says it has begun a handover of its weapons to the government of Nigeria. The group and representatives of the government had worked out the details at a disarmament committee following peace talks, with the handover purportedly beginning earlier in the week. []

* October 29 – The NLC pushes the strike to November 16. Workers threaten that the new strike will be indefinite, unlike the four day walkout in October.


* November 1 – Shell fails to prevent its employees from beginning a strike of their own. The workers union is taken to court to prevent further action. []

* November 9 – The Nigerian government issues a statement saying that workers who join the strike may be fired, and unable to regain their old jobs. The NLC states they will not give in to pressure.

* November 10 – Brown Ogbeifun, the president of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN), the largest white-collar union, says that his organization will join the blue-collar workers in their strike on the 16th, and threatens sanctions against any branch of the organization which does not go on strike.

* November 15 – The Nigerian government agrees to lower domestic oil prices in a major concession to the unions. The NLC suspends the strike set for the 16th, with a spokesperson saying the goal was " give the government a chance." []

* November 16
** Tribal chiefs with ties to the Niger Delta Vigilante (NDV), the NDPVF's rival, begin renewed violence against the region of Okrika, as the peace deal between the government and warlords approaches the brink of failure.
** Dokubo-Asari says the NDPVF will withdraw from the disarmament plans, thus collapsing the hopes for peace. Dokubo-Asari says the group will go no further, claiming the government refuses to disarm the NDV led by Ateke Tom of its weapons. He states "There is a deliberate policy on the part of the government for Ateke to keep his guns". []

* November 30 – The Nigerian Department of Petroleum Resources issues a report saying that the nation lost 1,068,000 barrels (170,000 m³) of crude oil every week in the month of November due to worker issues and renewed violence in the delta region. []


* December 6 – Protesting villagers overrun three facilities in the Rivers State operated by ChevronTexaco and Shell, trapping about 100 oil workers. Production is cut by convert|90000|oilbbl/d|m3/d, and the protesters occupy all possible means of leaving the facilities. []

ee also

* Crude oil
* Hubbert peak
* Oil supplies
* United States Africa Command

External links

* [ "Blood Oil"] by Sebastian Junger in "Vanity Fair", February 2007 (accessed 28/1/2007)
* [ Nigerian Oil -- "Curse of the Black Gold: Hope and Betrayal in the Niger Delta"] -- article from "National Geographic Magazine" (February 2007)

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