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UpstreamOnline: Bomu protest enters third day

By Upstream staff

A protest by villagers at the Bomu oil export pipeline complex in Nigeria entered a third day today and no crude was flowing through the facility, a protest leader said.

Villagers from K-Dere occupied the pipeline hub at Bomu, which feeds the Bonny shipping terminal, on Tuesday and forced Shell to shut 150,000 barrels per day of output.

“The lines are still shut. They are not flowing. We locked up the place and slept here last night,” Teddy Penedibebari, who is leading the protest, told Reuters.

Shell had said it was “ramping up production” yesterday, but confirmed that output was still down by 150,000 bpd this morning, the news agency said.

“We are hoping the situation will change shortly,” a spokesman said.

The protesters will not leave until Shell gives them contracts to supply the company with goods and services, Penedibebari said.

The same protesters, from the Ogoni area of the anarchic Niger Delta, had attacked the same pipeline hub on 10 May and occupied it for six days, forcing a 170,000 bpd closure.

Penedibebari previously said they demanded contracts worth 50 million naira ($393,000), but one local activist source said the protesters today modified their demand, calling for 200 million naira in cash.

Shell suspended production in Ogoni 14 years ago because of popular protests, but the area is still criss-crossed by pipelines and many residents are still aggrieved about oil spills and what they see as a history of neglect.

Shell had only just resumed normal production levels at its 400,000 bpd Bonny terminal before Tuesday’s attack on Bomu. Exports remain under a force majeure.

31 May 2007

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