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International Herald Tribune: Shell halts export of 150,000 barrels daily of Nigeria crude after protests

The Associated Press
Wednesday, May 30, 2007

LAGOS, Nigeria: Protesters besieged a major pipeline control center feeding a Royal Dutch Shell PLC oil export terminal in Nigeria, forcing the company to suspend exports of 150,000 barrels of crude oil a day, a company official said Wednesday.

Protesters from K-Dere in the Ogoni district of Nigeria’s southern oil region invaded the company’s Bomu Manifold on Monday, tampering with some pipeline equipment and forcing shutdown of the facility, Shell spokesman Precious Okolobo said.

“We had to defer export of 150,000 barrels per day,” said Okolobo.

It was the second disruption of crude supply on the pipeline, which sends crude from onshore facilities around the oil industry center of Port Harcourt to Shell’s Bonny oil export terminal.

Growing lawlessness, including armed attacks, in the oil-rich southern Niger Delta that accounts for nearly all of Nigeria’s oil have cut about a quarter of the normal exports of Africa’s leading oil producer. Most inhabitants of the impoverished region of swamps, creeks and mangrove forests feel cheated out of the oil produced on their land and want an increased share of oil revenue.

Some 200 foreign workers have been kidnapped — most quickly released for ransom — since armed militants stepped up their attacks against the oil companies and government in late 2005.

President Umaru Yar’Adua used his inaugural address Tuesday to appeal for an immediate end to violence in Nigeria’s oil heartland, and the largest militant group said it would consider the overture.

 

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