Systems disruption, made effective superempowerment, has now gained control of pricing on global energy markets. Returns on investment (ROIs) for attacks are now routinely counted in billions. This is particularly evident as MEND's open source war against the government and its corporate partners (Shell, Chevron, etc.) speeds up. In one week, they have taken out over 400,000 barrels a day of oil (This represents a half of one percent of total global production. It is also a substantially larger percentage of light crude, which has a larger impact on prices):
- Shell's off-shore Bonga Platform. 225,000 barrels a day disrupted. Guerrillas in speedboats towing dugout canoes attacked a platform 75 miles offshore (likely guided there by hand held GPS navigation). Jeff Vail has some good analysis of the attack.
- A gang attack on Chevron's pipeline near Escravos Nigeria. 100,000 barrels a day disrupted.
- An attack on the Escravos facility itself. An additional 100,000 barrels a day of production.
Again, this demonstrates (particularly the offshore attack) rapid cycles of improvement while maintaining strategic focus -- the result of decentralized tinkering/innovation by the many groups participating in the effort under the same plausible promise. The large number of groups involved in MEND also makes it nearly impervious to government counters. In the larger context, these attacks put at risk one of the world's foremost sources of new production -- which was slated to bring 1.25 m more barrels a day of offshore production online in the next couple of years, all of which is now at risk. So, instead of 2.5 m barrels a day climbing to 4 m barrels a day, production has dropped to ~1.3 m barrels a day (and is continuing to fall).
NOTE: Disruption isn't limited to Nigeria. A remote control bomb by the FARC on Occidental Petroleum's pipeline in Colombia just knocked out 100,000 barrels a day. It's also interesting to note how irrelevant the US military/national security system has become in regards to global energy security. The entire paradigm of warfare has changed but the $1 Trillion behemoth has barely budged.