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Shell checks Nigeria oil ops after attack reports

Reuters Africa

Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:19am GMT  

  

LAGOS (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell said on Tuesday it was still checking its oil operations in the Niger Delta after militants said they had launched three attacks against its facilities at the weekend.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) said on Sunday it had attacked Shell pipelines at Adamakiri and Kula, both in Rivers state in the eastern Niger Delta.

It said it had also attacked the Afremo offshore oilfields, which it believed were operated by Shell, and which it said were 14 miles from an export terminal through which crude oil from Shell’s Forcados fields is pumped.

“The checks are still ongoing. We’re looking at locations where we have reports of attacks,” a Shell spokesman said.

Shell engineers have been flying over the areas to assess any impact on output or the extent of any environmental damage from potential spillage.

Persistent attacks by MEND over the past three years have cut oil output in the OPEC member, the world’s eighth biggest crude oil exporter, to less than two thirds of its installed capacity of 3 million barrels per day (bpd).

Industry and security experts say it is virtually impossible to prevent opportunistic attacks on hundreds of kilometres of pipeline and equipment in the remote mangrove creeks of the Niger Delta, one of the world’s biggest wetlands.

The latest campaign by MEND, which began a month ago, followed the military’s biggest offensive against armed gangs in the Niger Delta for at least a decade. © Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved

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