* Leak caused by corroded pipeline - military
* Shell says most spills caused by oil thefts
* Oil outages hurting Shell profits and Nigeria's economy
YENAGOA, Nigeria, Aug 23 Royal Dutch Shell's
Nigerian unit is containing an oil spill in the Niger
Delta, the company said on Friday, after the military reported
liquid "jetting" out of a pipeline.
Massive oil theft, sabotage of infrastructure and leaks from
ageing pipelines are all cutting into the profits of oil majors
operating in Nigeria, as well as damaging the public finances of
Africa's second-largest economy.
The hundreds of spills a year in the Niger Delta have also
done serious environmental damage, destroying fishing
communities and poisoning water used for drinking and bathing.
The military joint task force (JTF) operating in Nigeria
said it discovered a leak on a pipeline near Adamakiri in Rivers
State while looking for illegal oil refiners.
"An assessment of the spot revealed that a brownish liquid
substance was observed jetting out from an opening on the
pipeline," a statement from the JTF said.
"The Commanding Officer ... attributed the leakage to
corrosion on the pipeline."
A spokesman for Shell's Nigeria unit said on Friday that
"oil spill containment" had been put in place after the leak was
found but it was too early to determine the cause.
The Anglo-Dutch firm says the majority of spills are due to
gangs tapping pipelines to steal oil but local communities say
the company is responsible for more spills than it admits to.
Shell is facing legal action in a UK court on behalf of
11,000 members of the Niger Delta Bodo community, who say the
company is responsible for spilling 500,000 barrels in 2008.
Shell has admitted liability for two spills in the Bodo region
but estimates the volume is far lower.
Operational problems in Nigeria cost Shell $250 million in
the second quarter of this year, the firm says.
Nigeria's government revenues slumped 42 percent in July due
to production outages, it said on Friday.