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Reuters: Shell may resume Niger Delta oil output in months

Fri Apr 6, 2007 7:09 PM BST

AMSTERDAM, April 6 (Reuters) – Anglo-Dutch oil giant Royal Dutch Shell Plc may resume oil production in the Niger Delta in several months time, Shell said on Friday.

“(Shell’s chief executive) Jeroen van der Veer has said that we may resume output in the Niger Delta in months,” a Shell spokesman said, confirming statements Van der Veer made on Thursday at a Paris oil conference as reported by a Dutch newspaper.

About 477,000 barrels per day could be taken back into production by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), in which Shell holds 30 percent, the spokesman said. Production was shut down after attacks in February last year.

A unit of France’s Total holds 10 percent in SPDC, Italy’s ENI unit Agip holds 5 percent, while the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. owns the remainder, according to data on Shell’s Web site.

Attacks on oil facilities and kidnappings of foreign workers have been a problem for years in Nigeria, the world’s eighth-biggest oil exporter, but the Shell spokesman said the company might re-enter the Niger Delta.

“We are having talks with local communities that give hope that we can return in the near future and start inspections and possible repairs,” he said.

The spokesman said he could not give an exact time frame for the resumption of the Niger Delta production due to uncertainties about Shell’s return to the region and repairs.

Total said on Thursday it expected its oil production in Nigeria to increase this year after violence dented output.

© Reuters 2007. All Rights Reserved. 

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