Analysis

Nigeria: Violence Could Lead to Civil War, Threaten Oil Production
Customers wait on January 25, 2012 outside a bank in the northern Nigerian city of Kano, where banks remained closed for a week due to security fears following multiple explosions and gun assaults blamed on the radical Islamist group Boko Haram in the city, which killed 185 people. Around 30 gunmen rained bombs and gunfire late on January 24 on a police station in Kano, killing a woman in the latest attack attributed to Boko Haram. (AMINU ABUBAKAR/AFP/Getty Images)
January 31, 2012
| Security, Energy
| Africa
Summary
A series of vicious bombings carried out by the radical Islamist group Boko Haram as well as a week of protests over cuts in popular oil subsidies have left Nigeria dangerously unstable as public support for president Goodluck Jonathan continues to evaporate. The threat of a civil war will continue to simmer, particularly if poor, northern dissidents and Boko Haram militants find common ground in their growing anger with the Nigerian government. Nigeria is the fifth largest source of U.S. oil imports. The growing violence is raising concerns for major oil companies operating in Nigeria such as Exxon Mobil (XON), Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA), Chevron (CVX), Total SA and Eni SpA.

Boko Haram carried out its most devastating attack to date on January 20, killing at least 185 people when gunmen and suicide car bombers launched coordinated attacks targeting police stations across the northern city of Kano. On January 29, gunmen attacked another police station in the same city, Nigeria’s second largest, killing two civilians and damaging property with explosive devices, according to the Voice of America.

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