27 June 2008

Chevron declares Force Majeure

Following recent attacks and a strike by Chevron's Nigeria staff, the oil giant declared force majeure on oil deliveries. Chevron is the second major oil company forced to break its contractual obligations due to targeted attacks by militants. The situation with employees on strike is also something to keep an eye, because it amplifies the actions of youth in the creeks.


19 June 2008

Offshore attack shows tactical sophistication

A communique from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta:

On Thursday, June 19, 2008, at 0045 Hrs, gallant fighters from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) overran the supposedly fortified Bonga offshore oil fields operated by the Shell Petroleum Development Company. The main computerized control room responsible for coordinating the entire crude oil export operations from the fields was our main target. Our detonation engineers could not gain access to blow it up but decided against smoking out the occupants by burning down the facility to avoid loss of life.

However, our next visit will be different as the facility will not be spared. We therefore ask all workers in the Bonga fields to evacuate for their safety as the military can not protect them. In order that the Nigerian military does not pass off this humiliating breach as another "accident", an American, Captain Jack Stone from an oil services company, Tidex has been captured. This man was supposed to only be released in exchange for all Niger Delta hostages being held in northern Nigeria by the Nigerian government. Because the criminals in the government and state security want to use this opportunity to make money from ransom, we have decided he will be released in the coming hours.

The location for today's attack was deliberately chosen to remove any notion that off-shore oil exploration is far from our reach. The oil companies and their collaborators do not have any place to hide in conducting their nefarious activities. We use this opportunity to ask the oil majors to evacuate their expatriate staff from Nigeria until the issues in the Niger Delta have been addressed and resolved. Oil and gas tankers are also warned to avoid Nigerian waters. They stand the risk of laden crude oil or natural gas tankers being attacked.

Jomo Gbomo

reference article here: http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/natural_resources/article4171039.ece

18 June 2008

Amnesty for Militants being offered

This posture from the Federal Government, although ridiculous without a goodfaith attempt to ameloriate the situation in the creeks, is at least better than earlier proposals to hire restive youths to police the swamps.

For references, see these two articles:

17 June 2008

Mainstream coverage

Time magazine ran an article at the end of May called "The Nigerian Rebel Who 'Taxes' Your Gasoline". The article itself is nothing special, although framing the issues in the context of the impact on global oil prices is important and should be further investigated. While mainstream coverage is welcomed, the glaring absence of any commentary about rethinking energy truly boggles the mind.

11 June 2008

New book about Niger Delta

National Geographic contributor and photographer Ed Kashi was interviewed today on the radio program the world, introducing his new book, Curse of the Black Gold. I have seen the proofs, and this books is really high quality.

Slowly, there begins to be more coverage of the issue...

Listen to the interview with photographer Ed Kashi:

09 June 2008

What is MOSOP thinking?

AFP recently reported that the President of Nigeria, Umaru Yar'Adua, would replace oil giant Shell as an operator in Ogoniland. This represents the first steps in 15 to resuming oil production in this part of the Niger Delta. While acknowledging Shell's horrid activities of the past is a good first step by the government, it is surprising to hear how eager the Ogoni and MOSOP are to have ANY oil company operating in their lands.

Oil extraction, especially in Nigeria, is a messy and dangerous process, that in all instances has brought with it misery and degradation. Why would a new operator in Ogoni be any different?Simply because they are not Shell? As MOSOP states, it will "seek to play a constructive and leading role in the debate over what will be required of an oil operator to win the confidence of our communities and provide a groundbreaking positive model for the Niger Delta." Maybe the groundbreaking model should be one that respects the gains of the past and tells the oil companies, no matter under what banner, "You are not welcome here!"

Okah's lawyer attempts to tie arms trafficking to Shell and FGN

Today, lead council for Mr. Henry Okah, detained Niger Delta activist, sent a letter to Nigeria's Inspector General of Police to request official copies of communications from 1994 between Shell and the government, allowing the multinational to import arms into the Niger Delta. As detailed in the letter, Mr. Okah is being charged with various crimes including the importation and distribution of various armaments, amounting to treason against the Nigerian Government. It seems Okah's lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, is attempting to prove that the Nigerian Army, with the consent of the Federal Government, has been likewise at the heart of flooding the Niger Delta with arms and creating an environment of instability and social chaos.

Here is the letter:

June 9, 2008

The Inspector-General of Police,
Police Headquarters,
Louis Edet House,


We are Solicitors to Henry Okah who is currently standing trial for treason, treasonable felony and related offences at the Federal High Court.

Specifically, our client is alleged to have committed treason by providing “250,000 assault rifles, General Purpose Machine Guns, Rocket Propelled Launchers/Canisters, Bazookas and assorted ammunition to armed groups” in the Niger Delta to levy war against the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

However, in the course of preparing our client’s defence we traced the proliferation of arms and ammunition in the Niger Delta to the Nigerian Army and The Shell Petroleum Development Company Nigeria Limited.

In the circumstances, we hereby apply for a Certified True Copy of the Approval dated 20th July 1994 given to The Shell Petroleum Development Company Nigeria Limited to import arms and ammunition to the Niger Delta.

It is hoped that this application will be favourably considered having regard to Section 36(6) of the Constitution which provides that every person charged with a criminal offence shall be entitled to be given “adequate time and facilities required for the preparation of his defence”.

Kindly find attached the relevant documents on the matter.

Yours sincerely,


05 June 2008

Act locally, act globally: making the oil companies think twice

Yesterday, Total, the French oil group raised the possibility of pulling out of the Niger Delta. This follows the continued "force majeure" status on Royal Dutch/Shell delivery of sweet crude in effect since the end of April. Clearly, the consequences of attacks and kidnappings by militants are being felt by oil majors and consumers at the pump.

The actions in the Niger Delta represents, among other things, represent an important strategy in the global effort to stop climate change? Although, locally militant actions are more focused on putting pressure on the government to allocate more resources to the empoverished area, they should also galvanize some international support from those thinking realistically about global warming and how to stop it.

For those of us who feel our survival is intimately related to what happens to the global environment, how do we imagine that the carbon economy is going to come to end? Reason and scientific proof are not enough to dissuade politicians and their business cronies to simply abandon oil. Furthermore, the common wisdom of how to regulate the current system is to slowly wean the world off petroleum through a series of free-market measures. Perhaps those will have some affect, but the great weakness here is that they uphold the consumer-capitalist hierarchy and essentially reinforce the doctrine of "consumption at all costs".

While it might seem that the crisis in the Delta is helping to enrich oil companies and corrupt politicians, this is only a short-term compromise. If those of us with a more radical streak unite behind local struggles that are having a true impact on weakening a system that profits from the destruction of the earth and its inhabitants, then we may have a chance at redemption after all.

*Article reference:


For too long the issues and challenges facing the Niger Delta and its people have been left by the wayside. It is high time that people everywhere take notice.

We hope this temporary blog will serve as a gathering point for those interested in finding out more about the struggle for justice in the Niger Delta of Nigeria and how to get involved. In the near future, we will be launching a comprehensive website that we hope can be an even greater resource