Niger group claims attack on China-backed pipeline

Anti junta militants disable a section of the PetroChina funded crude oil pipeline this Sunday.

Publication: 18.06.2024 - 14:49
Niger group claims attack on China-backed pipeline
Abone Ol google-news

An armed group opposed to Niger's ruling junta disabled a section of the country's PetroChina-funded crude oil pipeline in an attack on Sunday night, it said in a statement.

The pipeline has a capacity of 90,000 barrel per day (bpd) and extends for nearly 2,000 km (1,243-mile) linking Niger's Agadem oilfield to Benin's coast.

Exports are meant to be loaded under a $400 million deal with oil giant China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC).

The Patriotic Liberation Front (FPL) said its attack on the pipeline was aimed at pushing Niger's Chinese partners to cancel the export deal. The FPL formed after the West African country's July 2023 coup.

"Failing this, all oil assets will be paralysed in the next few actions," the FPL said, without providing further detail.

Niger's government, PetroChina, CNPC, and pipeline operator West Africa Oil Pipeline (WEPCO) did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The claimed attack deepens a crisis surrounding the pipeline, whose flows Niger said last Thursday it had shut off due to a border dispute with Benin.

That came a day after unidentified assailants attacked soldiers guarding the pipeline in southeastern Dosso region. Six soldiers were killed, security sources told the press.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for that attack, which was the first on security forces protecting the pipeline. Jihadist groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State operate in the area.