Once again, oil supplies in Nigeria have been disrupted due to militant attacks. Rebels destroyed part of an oil pipeline today, sending prices up $1.47. What this group wants is ultimately irrelevant. But the real issue here is how seriously we should be taking oil as a national security issue. If we have reached the point where spare capacity is stretched so thin that a temporary setback like a pipeline attack can affect oil prices. we have to ask just how safe oil production is in some countries, and how safe it should be. Which is why I'm curious if the U.S. military should declare high-risk oil zones like the Nigerian Delta to be free-fire zones where terrorists, kidnappers and militants are to be be violently engaged. I'm not certain if this would solve the problem or enflame it, forcing random attacks to evolve into more creative and long-running violence campaigns. Like von Clauswitz said, "Never engage the enemy for too long, or you allow them to adapt to your tactics." –Stephen Payne, Editor, Oil and Gas Investor This Week; www.OilandGasInvestor.com; spayne@hartenergy.com