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Shell ups Nigeria crude output; force majeure stays

Reuters: Shell ups Nigeria crude output; force majeure stays

Wed May 21, 2008 5:51am EDT

LONDON, May 21 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: QuoteProfileResearch) has been restoring some of its shut-in output in Nigeria but a force majeure remains in place for Bonny Light exports, a company spokesman said on Wednesday.

Shell is continuing repair works to damaged parts of Bonny Light crude facilities in the oil rich Niger Delta region following rebel attacks in April, the spokesman said.

“We are ramping up the production and we see some progress for repair works,” he said.

“To one location, which is critical, we do not have access due to security reasons. But other places are looking better.”

He declined to say how much output had been restored and said Bonny Light exports remained under force majeure.

Late in April, about 164,000 bpd of Bonny Light crude production, or about 40 percent of the Anglo-Dutch major’s equity oil output in the West African country, was shut-in due to recent attacks.

The company then declared the force majeure, which freed it from supply contract obligations on Bonny Light for late-April and throughout May.

Production in the world’s eighth-largest exporter has been especially erratic in the last few weeks because of an upsurge in militant attacks and a workers’ strike.

About 559,000 bpd, or about 19 percent of Nigeria’s installed output capacity, was seen as offline.

The outage has contributed to rallies in oil prices, which have been scaling to new peaks just below $130 a barrel OILOIL. (Reporting by Ikuko Kao; editing by James Jukwey)



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