By Camillus Eboh
ABUJA May 16 (Reuters) – Nigeria’s oil production has fallen by almost 40 percent to 1.4 million barrels a day due to militant attacks on pipelines and other facilities, its oil minister said on Monday.
His comments come amid a resurgence of militancy in the Niger Delta region which produces most of the crude oil that Nigeria relies on for around 70 percent of national income.
Attacks by a group calling itself the Niger Delta Avengers have driven Nigerian oil output lower. The group has carried out a wave of attacks in the last few weeks that have hit platforms belonging to Chevron and Shell.
“Because of the incessant attacks and disruption of production in the Niger Delta, as I talk to you now, we are now producing about 1.4 million barrels per day,” Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu told the House of Representatives.
“We were at 2.2 million bpd but we have lost 800,000 barrels,” Kachikwu added, while addressing the lower chamber of parliament.
Kachikwu was invited to address parliament about the country’s oil sector, including last week’s announcement by the government that it was scrapping a costly fuel subsidy scheme and increasing petrol prices by up to 67 percent.
(Writing by Ulf Laessing and Alexis Akwagyiram; editing by Adrian Croft and David Evans)
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