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Interactive Investor/AFX News: Shell pipeline damaged in latest attacks in Nigeria

LAGOS (AFX) – One of the energy giant Royal Dutch Shell's major oil pipelines has been badly damaged in the swamps of the Niger Delta, the firm said, in what is apparently the latest in a series of militant attacks.
A Shell spokesman said that two manifolds on a pipeline crossing the Ramos river near the fishing villages of Agge and Agoro, 350 kilometres (200 miles) southeast of Lagos, had been ruptured.
The pipeline would normally carry crude oil from wells in Bayelsa State in the western delta to Shell's Forcados export terminal, but the firm's output from the area had already been shut down over security concerns.
“The manifolds were attacked on Friday night to Saturday morning,” the official said, under Shell Nigeria's policy of having anonymous spokesmen.
The extent of the damage is not yet known, as an inspection has only been carried out by a helicopter overflight, he added.
Last month, Shell suspended crude loading at the Forcados terminal and evacuated the nearby EA offshore field, slashing Nigeria's 2.6 mln barrel per day output by almost 20 pct and pushing world oil prices higher.
The shutdown followed the latest in a series of violent attacks by armed separatist militants fighting for a control of the delta's oil revenues.
On Feb 18, nine foreign workers from a Shell subcontractor were kidnapped after a brief gunbattle with Nigerian security forces. Six of them were later freed, but a Briton and two Americans are still being held hostage.
Since Forcados suspended loading, several oil flow stations and pipelines have been dynamited by the militants, and it is not clear how long it will take the company to restore production if the security situation improves. [email protected] afp/bam

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