The United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) has warned that Nigeria’s oil production could remain low till the first quarter of 2018, if the restiveness in the Niger Delta region is not addressed, The Nation reports.

The agency, in a report on its website, gave the warning, following the decision of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries(OPEC) to extend the oil cut exemptions granted Libya and Nigeria from last month to next March. It said renewed attacks on oil installations by militants would slow down the Federal Government’s efforts and that of major oil companies operating in the country to increase oil production.

’’Inability of the Federal Government to sustain the peace in the region, means that there would be a continued disruption of production activities in the area. This would further impact negatively on crude oil output. The two separate exemptions enjoyed by Nigeria – the six months and the nine months extension recently approved by OPEC at its meeting in Vienna, Austria, is a good development for Nigeria, if the country can do everything within its power to end insurgency in the area,” EIA said.