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Exxon says Nigeria output back, Shell taking longer

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Reuters: UPDATE 1-Exxon says Nigeria output back, Shell taking longer

Tue May 6, 2008 4:25am EDT

(Recasts with Shell shut-in, details)

 

LAGOS, May 6 (Reuters) – Exxon Mobil (XOM.N: QuoteProfileResearch) has returned its oil output in Nigeria to normal operating levels after an eight-day strike while Shell (RDSa.L: QuoteProfile,Research) said it would start partly resuming production shut by militant attacks “within days.”

The strike by members of the PENGASSAN managers union shut down virtually all Exxon’s 800,000-barrels a day output in Africa’s largest oil producer and drove the company to declare a force majeure on its shipments at the start of last week.

A company spokeswoman could not immediately say whether Exxon had now lifted the force majeure following the end of the strike on Thursday. Exxon continues to negotiate with the union on a salary increase.

“We are pleased to report that production operated by ExxonMobil upstream affiliates in Nigeria has been restored to pre-shut in levels,” the company statement said.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Shell said its production in Nigeria was still down by about 164,000 barrels a day due to recent militant attacks but it would start to partly restore that “within days.”

An attack by Niger Delta rebels on Saturday which blew up an oil flowstation in the southern state of Bayelsa was “not a severe incident” and had little impact on production, the spokesman said. (For full Reuters Africa coverage and to have your say on the top issues, visit: africa.reuters.com/ )

(Reporting by Daniel Flynn and Peg Mackey; editing by James Jukwey)

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