In his article 'Forget the Saudis, Nigeria's the Big Oil Worry', Lee said that apart from "Saudi Arabia's oil market machinations," policymakers should also be concerned about what is now "happening 3,000 miles away in the Niger River delta."
Describing Nigeria as Africa's biggest crude producer, Lee said that the country is now embroiled in chaos, with a series of attacks and accidents already hitting its infrastructure and "taking Nigeria's output down to 20-year lows."
"Oil prices are responding, rising to their highest in more than six months. With no solution in sight to the problems that beset the delta's creeks and mangrove swamps, production from onshore and shallow-water oil fields looks vulnerable," he said.
Lee also referred to the militant group Niger Delta Avengers, whose activity rode roughshod over daily exports of Shell's Forcados terminal and an offshore Chevron facility.
He pointed out that Nigeria's "oil woes" are not only related to the militants' crackdown.
"Exxon had to declare force majeure on Qua Iboe exports after a drilling platform ran aground and ruptured a pipeline, while Shell did similar with Bonny Light exports after a leak from a pipeline feeding the terminal."
Nigeria's supply disruptions contributed considerably to an about-face in the oil outlook of Goldman Sachs, which said that "the oil market has gone from nearing storage saturation to being in deficit much earlier than we expected."
Goldman cited "sustained strong demand as well as sharply declining production," which it said prompted the market to shift into deficit in May.