Though it is the fifth largest supplier of oil to the United States, when it comes to global oil prices, every little spike in Nigeria has a major impact.
A leader of the group MEND (Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta) told ABC News they had avoided taking any lives in their previous attacks and kidnappings. Since they have not been taken seriously, the group intends to step up the offensive and "be as ruthless and as callous as attacks witnessed in Iraq." Their target: foreign-owned oil facilities and workers.
Militant groups in the country blame them and Nigerian government officials for the impoverished living conditions of the people in the Niger Delta where the oil companies are located.
"How can you explain a situation where we account for all nigerias [sic] wealth and we live without electricity in shacks made of cardboard and straw? How can you explain my people drinking from salty creeks in which they bath and defecate?"
Corrupt government officials apparently are responsible for billions of dollars in stolen or wasted oil revenue.
Nigerian terrorist groups say they will "burn workers alive on offshore oil rigs" in their next set of attacks. Together with concurrent attacks in the Middle East, it would escalate the price of oil to $120 a barrel. That translates to a price of $5-$6 US dollars a gallon.
I would hope that would not happen for the safety of those involved in the "field" working for the oil companies. As for we consumers, could you really afford to drive or travel at that price for gas?