Niger’s crude oil export pipelines attacked

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There are reports of an armed attack on Niger oil facilities by an armed group opposed the country’s military government.

The attack, carried out on Sunday, was aimed at disrupting the crude oil export through the PetroChina-funded crude oil pipeline.

The pipeline, with a capacity of 90,000 barrels per day (bpd), stretches nearly 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles) from Niger’s Agadem oilfield to the coast of Benin. Exports are conducted under a $400 million agreement with China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC).

The Patriotic Liberation Front (FPL), which formed after the July 2023 coup in Niger, claimed responsibility for the attack. The group stated that the attack aimed to pressure Niger’s Chinese partners to cancel the export deal. “Failing this, all oil assets will be paralysed in the next few actions,” the FPL warned without providing further details.

Niger’s government, PetroChina, CNPC, and pipeline operator West Africa Oil Pipeline (WEPCO) have not yet responded to requests for comment.

This attack exacerbates the ongoing crisis surrounding the pipeline. Just last Thursday, Niger shut off pipeline flows due to a border dispute with Benin. This followed an attack by unidentified assailants on soldiers guarding the pipeline in the southeastern Dosso region, resulting in the deaths of six soldiers, according to security sources. No group has claimed responsibility for that attack, which was the first on security forces protecting the pipeline. The region is known for the presence of jihadist groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State

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