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Shell sees ‘small’ oil production cut in Nigeria after attack

Bonny Terminal, Nigeria

Shell’s oil and gas terminal on Bonny Island in southern Nigeria’s Niger Delta

AFP: Shell sees ‘small’ oil production cut in Nigeria after attack

Saturday 19 April 2008

LAGOS (AFP) — Anglo-Dutch oil group Shell said Saturday it had slightly reduced oil production following a militant attack on a major supply pipeline in southern Nigeria.

“We discovered there was a major leak on the Greater Port Harcourt swamp pipeline. The leak appears to have been caused by explosives. We have isolated the line preparatory to repairs,” Shell spokesman in Lagos Tony Okonedo told AFP.

“Small quantities of oil have been shut in to allow for necessary repairs,” he added, referring to the production cut, though refusing to disclose the exact amount.

Okonedo said Thursday’s attack by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) on the pipeline feeding the Bonny exports terminal had also caused a minor crude spill.

He said the company was mobilising engineers Saturday to contain the spill.

World energy prices rebounded to a new record high of 117 dollars a barrel on Friday after MEND claimed responsibility for the attack, promising “many more” similar ones.

The pipeline was connected to the Bonny exports terminal — the largest in the country with a storage capacity of around seven million barrels of crude oil.

Shell, Nigeria’s largest oil operator accounting for around half of the country’s 2.1 million barrels per day output, has seen a wave of attacks on its facilities in recent months.

MEND, which came to prominence in early 2006, has claimed responsibility for a series of attacks on Nigeria’s oil industry and related sectors in the past two years.

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