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Argus FSU Energy: Shell to re-enter Niger delta

4 December 2006

Shell will begin an assessment of its abandoned facilities in its west Niger delta operations as early as this week, with a view to restarting the 477,000 b/d of Forcados and EA production shut in since February. A Shell source says production could restart “in a matter of weeks” if damage to the facilities is “minimal” and if it is safe to do so.

Shell, which operates around half of Nigeria’s 2.2mn b/d production, held a meeting with community leaders, militant organisation the Federated Niger Delta Ijaw Communities (FNDIC) and the Delta state government, at which it was agreed that the company would send in workers to assess the damage to facilities from sabotage and environmental damage caused by subsequent spillages. The FNDIC is linked to rebel group Mend, which has spearheaded hostage-taking and the seizure of oil facilities this year. Mend has threatened to execute any technician fixing damaged facilities (WPA, 31 July, p2).

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