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Nigerian Militants Bomb Two Shell-Operated Pipelines

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Nigerian Militants Bomb Two Shell-Operated Pipelines

July 29, 2008; Page A9

LONDON — Nigeria’s main militant group said it bombed two Royal Dutch Shell PLC-operated oil pipelines early Monday and warned more attacks were planned over the next month, helping push up oil prices by more than $1 a barrel.

Shell confirmed one of the pipelines, Nembe Creek, was damaged and it was forced to reduce flows, but didn’t say by how much.

“We can say that part of Nembe Creek was damaged and that we have shut-in some production,” Shell spokesman Rainer Winzenried said, declining to confirm what caused the damage. Nembe Creek typically operates at about 130,000 barrels a day of capacity and feeds the Bonny oil export terminal.

He said it was unlikely the company would provide exact outage figures and said Shell was still investigating claims by a Nigerian militant group that it bombed a second Shell-operated pipeline early Monday.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, or MEND, said in an email statement to the media that it attacked two Shell-operated pipelines in Rivers, one of the West African nation’s main oil-producing states. The group has waged a campaign for more than two years, bombing pipelines and abducting foreign oil workers, to try to get a greater share of Nigeria’s oil wealth.

The group’s attacks have largely accounted for shutting in anywhere from 400,000 to 600,000 barrels a day of production at any one time in Nigeria since early 2006.

After news of the pipeline attacks emerged, the September oil futures contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose $1.47, or 1.2%, to settle at $124.73 per barrel.

Write to Spencer Swartz at [email protected]

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