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allAfrica.com: Nigeria: Shell Resumes 170,000bpd Production in Niger Delta

This Day (Lagos)
19 May 2007
Fidelia Okwuonu
Lagos

Royal Dutch Shell yesterday resumed operations in the Niger Delta to restore 170,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil production after a protest at its major pipeline hub.

According to Shell’s spokesman, the company has regained access to its Ogoni site, after the six-day protest in the Ogoni area of the Niger Delta, which had raised the tally of oil supply cut by violence to about 900,000 bpd, or one third of total capacity in the country. Nigeria is the world’s eighth largest exporter. The crisis in the Niger Delta had led to world oil price increase.
 
The Dutch oil giant had halted oil production in the Ogoni area 14 years ago as a result of popular protests, which were a precursor to today’s violent insurgency in the Niger Delta.

The spokesperson added that the Anglo-Dutch company has already reopened one of the valves at the pipeline complex in the area, and would test the system before fully restoring oil flows. Villagers from K-Dere community had staged a 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.

Meanwhile, US major Chevron also disclosed yesterday that only about 7,000 bpd of its Escravos oil production was still closed after a community invasion at its Abiteye facility on May 7, causing a disruption on its 70,000 bpd production prior to its original estimate of 42,000 bpd.

According to a report, rebels fighting for local control over oil wealth have stepped up attacks to press their demands, but the line between militancy and crime are blurred and frequent kidnappings are mostly motivated by money.

Twelve foreigners are still being held hostage there after a Belarussian woman working as an industry contractor, who was abducted on May 5 in Port Harcourt was released on Wednesday night.

http://allafrica.com/stories/200705190044.html

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