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Houston Chronicle: Shell calls unrest an impediment in Nigeria

Conditions need to improve before work resumes, top executive says
Jan. 23, 2008, 8:43PM
Associated Press

DAVOS, SWITZERLAND — The head of Royal Dutch Shell said Wednesday that “conditions must improve” before the company could resume production that was cut because of unrest in Nigeria.

Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, CEO Jeroen van der Veer said he would meet with Nigeria’s president, Umaru Yar’Adua, on Friday about security and energy funding.

Van der Veer said he hoped to regain its share of lost oil output, but “conditions must improve for us to restart production, and we’re not there yet.”

At the meeting with Yar’Adua, “we have lots to talk about. It’s not only about security, it’s also about funding. The lack of funding for some projects has caused issues with meeting targets. … It’s prevented us from ending all gas flaring,” he said.

Gas flaring means the burning off of natural gas found along with oil.

Yar’Adua confirmed the two men would meet and said he would seek more investment from Shell into Nigeria’s downstream energy sector.

He also broached the idea that international companies could enter joint ventures with the national oil company to build power plants in the west African nation.

As for OPEC, of which Nigeria is a member, he said it was too early to know what decision the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries would take on oil supply when it meets Feb. 1 in Vienna, Austria.

Facilities run by Shell and several other oil multinationals working in Nigeria have come under renewed attack since the leading militant group in the delta region ended a self-imposed cease-fire in September 2007. and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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