Shell says 130,000 bpd halted due to Nigeria leaks

ABUJA Thu Feb 7, 2008 8:13am GMT

People walk past the Dutch oil giant Shell's sign board in Port Harcourt in the volatile Niger delta region of Nigeria September 23, 2005. REUTERS/George Esiri

People walk past the Dutch oil giant Shell's sign board in Port Harcourt in the volatile Niger delta region of Nigeria September 23, 2005.

Credit: Reuters/George Esiri

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ABUJA (Reuters) - The Nigerian arm of Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) said on Thursday 130,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude output was halted because of leaks on the Nembe Creek pipeline in the Niger Delta.

Shell had on Wednesday declared a force majeure on exports from the Bonny terminal because of the leaks, saying it was unable to fix them because of security concerns.

Caroline Wittgen, a spokeswoman for Shell in Nigeria said the force majeure would last through February and March.

"The security situation in the area has seriously impacted the repairs and we will resume the work as soon as it is safe to do so," she said in an email.

Wittgen said 30 percent of the halted 130,000 bpd was Shell's own production while the other 70 percent belonged to its joint venture partners including the Nigerian state oil firm NNPC. Shell operates onshore and shallow water oilfields in the Niger Delta as part of a joint venture called SPDC.

The cause of the four leaks on the Nembe Creek trunk line, which carries crude from various oilfields to the Bonny terminal, was unknown.

Shell said it had been able to fix one of them but could not reach the other three because of security concerns. The Nembe Creek pipeline passes through areas where there have been numerous militant attacks on oil facilities and clashes between militants and troops over the past two years.

(Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; editing by James Jukwey)

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