Two local militant groups, the Niger Delta Vigilante (NDV) and the Patriotic Force (PF), warned on 3 February 2009 that they will launch an “oil war” in the Niger Delta if major oil companies do not leave the region by 14 February. The militant groups stated that “Operation Zero Exploration” will include attacks on Shell, Agip, Intel, Nigeria LNG and the Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) personnel and installations. The militants are accusing the oil companies of supporting and aiding the Nigerian military in carrying out attacks on their camps in the region. The latest confrontation occurred when the military’s Joint Task Force (JTF) apparently attacked an NDV camp on 30 January, causing the Movement for the Emancipation for the Niger Delta (MEND) — which is NDV’s parent organization — to call off its unilateral ceasefire.
Meanwhile, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN), Nigeria’s senior oil workers’ union, threatened to go on strike beginning on 9 February over insecurity in the Niger Delta. The union stated that it will withdraw all services from upstream facilities unless the Nigerian government takes definitive steps to improve security in the region. PENGASSAN did not specify the steps that the government must take, but in the past similar threats to go on strike have been averted through negotiations.
Comments: Watch this instability as it was in Venezuela. This is ripe for nationalization. As we have seen before in the African continent, nationalization leads to industry failure.