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Reuters: UPDATE 1-Shell repairs broken Nigerian oil pipeline

Thu Mar 22, 2007 10:21 AM BST

LAGOS, March 22 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile , Research) has completed repairs to a big Nigerian oil pipeline that broke open on March 4, forcing the company to reduce output by 187,000 barrels per day, a spokesman said on Thursday.

The company is now performing integrity tests on the pipeline with a view to resuming production from the Nembe Creek area, which pumps crude oil to the Bonny export terminal in the Niger Delta.

“The pipeline has been clamped and we are doing integrity testing to be able to reopen the flow-stations,” spokesman Bisi Ojediran said.

“When they reopen depends on the outcome of the tests,” he added.

A team including government and oil company representatives sent to investigate the cause of the damage and spill has not yet released its findings, he said.

Repairs took longer than originally expected because militants in the Nembe Creek area prevented workers from gaining access to the site and seized Shell’s equipment for a few days.

Before this incident, Nigeria was already pumping about 20 percent below full capacity because of a series of militant attacks on oil facilities in the western delta in February 2006.

© Reuters 2007. All Rights Reserved. 

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