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Nigerian Militant Group Strikes Shell, Kills Guard

LONDON — Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s oil-production woes in Nigeria worsened Monday as the country’s main militant group launched new attacks on energy infrastructure, killing a Shell station guard.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta said it launched an attack early Monday on a Shell crude-gathering station near Nigeria’s main oil city, Port Harcourt. The assault was in retaliation for recent clashes with the country’s military.

Oil prices didn’t react to the latest incursion, underscoring the shift in sentiment in the global crude market, which for months has rallied on the violence and production problems in the Niger Delta, Nigeria’s main oil-producing region.

The militant group vowed more attacks in what it described as a war against the energy industry. Shell said that after Monday’s attack it was evacuating an unspecified number of employees from “some field locations.” It didn’t say what production volumes were lost as a result, and a Shell spokesman said the company didn’t plan to make that information available. Shell is still assessing the militant group’s claim Sunday of an attack on another of its oil facilities.

The latest round of attacks against Shell, which has borne the brunt of militant violence for the past two years, could be more costly for the company than those in past months when oil prices were higher. Record oil prices have offset lost oil production in the West African state in past months.

For more than two years, MEND has waged a campaign bombing oil pipelines and kidnapping foreign energy workers in an effort to force the Nigerian government to give more federal oil revenue to Niger Delta states, home to most of the country’s oil production and where much of the population lives in poverty.

Write to Spencer Swartz at [email protected]

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122150325776737425.html

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