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AFP: Shell contains Nigeria oil spill

Royal Dutch Shell said on Friday that it has successfully contained a major oil spill in a production facility in southern Nigeria but yet to regain output loss of 187,000 barrels per day.

“We have this week contained the spill at Nembe Creek Trunk Line. But we are yet to restore the 187,000 bpd were are losing as a result of the shut down,” a senior official of the company told AFP by telephone.

“We are arranging to start repairs on the trunk line, and this will come up anytime from now” said the official, who demanded anonymity.

The spill at Nembe Creek Trunk Line on Sunday led to a total output loss of 187,000 barrels per day. Ten flowstations were closed down to enable the company to effect necessary repairs, Shell had told AFP on Monday.

The cause of the spill was yet unknown.

Shell accounts for around half of Nigeria’s daily output of some 2.6 million barrels, was already losing some 477,000 barrels because of the unrest in the Niger Delta.

Since January 2006, separatist groups seeking a larger share of Nigeria’s oil wealth have renewed their violence against oil firms, personnel and related business interests in the region.

This year alone, a total of 58 foreigners, most but not all of them with connections to the oil industry, have been abducted. That is almost as many as for the whole of 2006.

The separatist groups on several occasions have told all foreigners to leave the region and say their aim is to stop oil production in the Delta.

Tapping of pipelines by local people to steal fuel is also common in the country, often with fatal results.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer and world’s sixth largest exporter, derives more than 95 percent of its foreign exchange earnings from oil.

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