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Reuters: Shell regains access to Nigerian oil pipeline

Thu May 17, 2007 10:37 AM BST

PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria, May 17 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile , Research) has started work to restore 170,000 barrels per day of crude oil production in Nigeria after a protest at a major pipeline hub, a spokesman said on Thursday. The six-day protest raised the tally of oil supply hit by violence in the world’s eighth largest exporter to about 900,000 bpd, or one third of the country’s total capacity.

“We have regained access to the site,” said a Shell spokesman.

A Shell source said the company had already opened one of the valves at the complex, and would test the system before fully restoring oil flows. Villagers from K-Dere in the Ogoni area of the Niger Delta had staged the protest to demand a stake in the oil flowing through their land, but vacated the site on Wednesday after their elders promised to settle the issue in talks with Shell over the next few days.

Shell halted oil production in the Ogoni area of the Niger Delta 14 years ago after popular protests which were a precursor to today’s violent insurgency across the vast wetlands region.

© Reuters 2007. All Rights Reserved. 

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