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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Applied Geography
Title Attacks on oil transport pipelines in Nigeria: A quantitative exploration and possible explanation of observed patterns
Volume 32
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2012
Page numbers 636-651
URL https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Damian_Lawler/publication/243056255_Attacks_on_oil_transport_pi​pelines_in_Nigeria_A_quantitative_exploration_and_possible_explanation_of_observed_patterns/links/53​da723b0cf2a19eee8850a9.pdf
In countries with insufficient investments in infrastructure and weak environmental governance, oil
leakage from pipelines often occurs as a result of poor management and maintenance. Nigeria has its
share of such incidents, but also, it suffers a large number of deliberate attacks (‘interdictions’) on oil
pipelines. Often these attacks are accompanied by oil theft, carried out by well-equipped professionals
and/or at a smaller scale by opportunistic local residents. The causes of these attacks, and the extent of
subsequent damage to local communities and the environment, are obscured by a complex web of
stakeholders, claims and actions. Any efforts to mitigate the negative impacts of interdiction on the
environment and people require a better understanding of its spatiotemporal pattern of occurrence. This
article presents a first quantitative and regional exploration of the problem of oil pipeline interdiction in
Nigeria. It illustrates geographic patterns through choroplethic and bivariate GIS (Geographical Information
Systems) map overlays. We examine interdiction statistics, identify spatiotemporal patterns and
discuss correlations with socioeconomic factors. Findings include: (a) strong negative correlation
between pipeline interdiction and poverty; and (b) statistically and non-statistically significant mean
differences in the pattern of interdiction occurrence amongst the five geographic regions. Finally, we
highlight the need for much better data collection and reporting for the mitigation of the negative socioenvironmental
impacts of interdiction incidences.

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