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Shell says Nigeria pipeline fire blazes on

Reuters: Shell says Nigeria pipeline fire blazes on

Thu Apr 3, 2008 10:45am BST 

LONDON, April 3 (Reuters) – A fire at Royal Dutch Shell’s (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research) major oil export pipeline in Nigeria continued for a fifth day, but output and exports were unaffected, a company spokesman said on Thursday.

The blaze started on a section of the Trans-Niger pipeline, operated by Shell in the Ogoni area of the southern state of Rivers on Sunday. The pipeline carries crude oil to the Bonny export terminal.

“Still no news. Fire fighters did not get permission to access the fire yesterday again,” the Shell spokesman in Hague said, adding that hostile locals were blocking access.

“It is the same situation we had last year. It took a long while for us to get access to the fire.”

Equity holders of Nigeria’s Bonny Light crude, which is exported from the terminal, also said they were not notified of any delays to loadings.

The cause of the fire was not yet identified, although it might have been caused deliberately, Shell has said.

Disputes between local communities and oil multinationals are common in the Niger Delta, a vast impoverished region that is home to Africa’s biggest hydrocarbon industry.

In one of last year’s incidents, fires blazed at six different points on the pipeline. It took Shell four months to douse the fires.

Two separate attacks in May last year forced the company to halt up to 170,000 barrels per day output for a few days.

(Reporting by Ikuko Kao)

© Reuters 2008 All rights reserved.

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