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OIL SUMMIT: Nigeria Oil Output At Lowest In 25 Yrs -Official

OIL SUMMIT: Nigeria Oil Output At Lowest In 25 Yrs -Official

Dow Jones

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia -(Dow Jones)- Nigeria is pumping oil at its lowest level in 25 years, following militant rebel attacks on facilities in recent days operated by Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB) andChevron Corp. (CVX), a senior Nigerian oil official said Sunday.

Nigeria, which has in recent months been overtaken by Angola as Africa’s biggest oil producer, is now estimated to be producing oil at between 1.2 million and 1.5 million barrels a day, the oil official told Dow Jones Newswires, the lowest level since around 1983.

“Things are very bad now in Nigeria,” he said on the sidelines of a major oil summit here between producers and consumers.

The country’s volume of marketable oil held back from such attacks is now between 900,000 and 1 million barrels a day, the official added.

U.S. oil company Chevron Saturday became the second oil major in as many days to confirm that it has been forced to shut in production at a Nigerian oil production facility, after militants attacked a pipeline late Thursday.

Nigeria’s Oil Minister Odein Ajumogobia conceded Friday that the country’s oil sector had received a beating from a spate of militant attacks, adding that a peace summit in July would help quell unrest.

Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua called the summit and is expected to include representatives of several militant groups. “We’ve had some unfortunate incidents but we’re hopeful that things will improve with dialogue and the Peace Summit,” Ajumogobia told Dow Jones Newswires Friday.

Among those incidents: Shell declared force majeure Friday on exports from its 225,000 barrels-a-day Bonga offshore crude oil field in Nigeria, after an attack by Nigeria’s leading rebel group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta.

-By Spencer Swartz, Dow Jones Newswires; +44 27 842 9357; [email protected]

  (END) Dow Jones Newswires
  06-22-08 0609ET
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