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Reuters: Shell CEO says doesn’t expect “miracles” in Nigeria

Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:09 PM BST
(Adds fresh quotes)
By Randy Fabi

LONDON, July 26 (Reuters) – The chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile , Research) said on Thursday he didn’t expect any “miracles” in restoring lost oil production in Nigeria.

Shell said 195,000 barrels per day of its production in Nigeria was shut-in at the end of the second quarter due to security concerns, up from 177,000 bpd during the same period last year. The Anglo-Dutch company declined to provide a timeline on when it expected to return to normal output levels.

“We simply don’t know, but I don’t expect miracles overnight. It will one day come back I’m convinced,” Chief Executive Jeroen van der Veer told a news conference after the company unveiled its second quarter earnings report.

He added that Shell was in “intensive discussions” with government and key community members to regain access to oilfields and restart production.

“The complaints of the local people are not necessarily against Shell,” the CEO said. “But it is basically because they don’t have schools, they don’t have hospitals, there are no jobs for their children.”

Shell, the biggest foreign producer in Nigeria, had said in May that preparations were under way to restart shut-in production following an improvement in the security situation.

Violence in Africa’s largest oil producer, Nigeria, has cut production by at least 547,000 bpd, or about 18 percent of its output capacity.

Rebel groups have vowed to further disrupt output in the volatile Niger Delta in their fight for greater local control of area’s oil wealth.

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