Officials and industry sources say that Nigeria wants Royal Dutch Shell to reopen a major export pipeline in the Niger Delta, the Trans Forcados Pipeline, which has been attacked several times in the past 12 months, but the oil major wants better protection first to avoid having it blown up yet again, Reuters reports.
The Delta state government, whose revenues are linked to volumes of oil in the pipeline passing through its territory, has been asking Shell when it will resume pumping, promising extra security. Charles Ehiedu Aniagwu, spokesman for the Delta government said officials have set up a committee to improve security by talking to oil firms and communities where militants often hide in the southern swampland. But he said the federal government needed to help because the army and police protecting pipelines and other oil facilities report to Abuja.
An industry source said repair works at the Forcados pipeline had been progressing well, but the main issue was what additional security measures Nigeria could provide to prevent a new attack. Like other producers, Shell has been monitoring pipelines by helicopter, passing on information to authorities, industry sources said. But the military, which is often accused of graft, has not always been quick to respond. Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, has however been meeting community leaders who act as proxies for militant groups over their concerns.