See also:
» 22.04.2010 - Concern over Nigeria's 870 death row inmates
» 06.04.2010 - Nigerian militias sentenced in Equatorial Guinea
» 09.03.2010 - Demands for Nigeria to stop massacres
» 02.02.2010 - UK to return £43 million stolen funds
» 02.02.2010 - Nigeria names panel to probe religious killings
» 27.01.2010 - Nigeria seizes fake drugs
» 21.01.2010 - UN chief calls for restoration of peace in Nigeria
» 20.01.2010 - Nigerian religious clashes’ death toll up

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Nigeria’s main oil exporter halts operations after attacks

afrol News, 10 March - The recent attack on Nigerian pipelines has forced the Royal Dutch Shell to halt its main deliveries to many customers, saying the worsening security in Nigeria’s oil rich region, the Niger Delta weighs heavily on the company.

The company’s statement said Shell has seen a spate of attacks on its facilities in recent weeks and has been forced to end oil and natural-gas deliveries to many other customers without specifying the time frame.

Shell spokesman Rainer Winzenried said the company called for a halt last Saturday after an explosion on a pipeline by militants.

Last week, Shell said it had shut a number of oil installations after explosions on a pipeline that may have been due to sabotage. The blasts are reported to have caused at least three punctures to the 24-inch trans-Escravos pipeline, which sends crude oil from Shell's Forcados oilfields to the Escravos oil export terminal in Nigeria's Niger Delta.

“The declaration, which protects Shell from lawsuits for not meeting oil deliveries to customers due to actions outside the company's control, is expected to be in place for the rest of March and all of April,” Mr Winzenried said.

Although the official did not disclose how severe the impact is on its clientele, the Nigerian oil official said the attack for more than a week disrupted around 50,000 to 100,000 barrels a day of production.

An offence on the oil infrastructure follows the end of a cease-fire announced last month by Nigeria's main militant group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta.

The recent attacks on oil infrastructure and oil workers in the Niger Delta has prompted Nigeria's two main oil unions to threaten strikes in a few weeks if the government doesn't do more to improve security around energy facilities. Last week, the unions gave the government a 21 days ultimatum to fix the security situation or face the indefinite strike.

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