Oil firms in Nigeria prepare for possible election unrest

Stephen U.C

Sector operators warned on Wednesday that Nigerian oil companies are bracing for a potential surge in militant attacks as campaigning intensifies before the 2019 presidential polls, Petroleum news reports.

Political players can cause “mayhem”, said Ladi Bada, managing director and chief executive of Shoreline Natural Resources, at an event hosted by Moody’s Investors Service in Lagos. “There will always be unrest, because the situation is not perfect,” Bada said later in an interview. He said the underdeveloped state of the Niger Delta made it easy for cases of unrest due to the high level of dissatisfaction by indigenes.

Domestic oil and gas producers like Shoreline, who operate in shallow waters onshore, are more vulnerable to attacks compared to international oil companies who run deep-water projects. President Buhari was forced to continue paying amnesty payments to ex-militants after attacks in the region led by the Niger Delta Avengers crippled crude production in 2016. That helped tip Nigeria into its worst recession in decades.

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