THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: Nigerian Unions: Strike To Be Extended If Arrests Continue: “At least two people have been killed in clashes between police and pro-union protesters.”: “It wasn't known what caused the leak Monday at Moghor in the Ogoni district of the oil-rich delta. While Shell officials tried to investigate, a group of unidentified saboteurs set the pipeline on fire, a Shell statement said.” (ShellNews.net)
DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
October 13, 2004 4:05 a.m.
ABUJA, Nigeria (AP)--Nigerian unions have threatened to extend their nationwide general strike, which entered its third day Wednesday, continuing concerns about production in Africa's biggest oil-exporting nation.
The general strike in protest against high local oil prices began Monday and was supposed to last four days and resume again in two weeks if fuel prices don't come down.
"The strike is going on and it's quite effective across the country," said Owei Lekeimfa, spokesman for the Nigeria Labor Congress, the country's main union organization. "We have told the police that if the arrests and harassment continue, we'll have to extend the strike beyond tomorrow."
At least two people have been killed in clashes between police and pro-union protesters.
In the town of Awka, nine unionists were arrested for attempting to stop taxis from operating and were charged in court Tuesday "for disturbing public order," police spokesman Kolapo Sofoluwe said.
The strike has shut down business in Lagos and other major cities, but has not so far disrupted the 2.5 million barrels daily which the country exports.
However, oil giant Royal Dutch/Shell (RD, SC) said Tuesday it was cutting production by 20,000 b/d following a leak and a fire on a major pipeline transporting crude oil to one of its export terminals in the Niger Delta.
It wasn't known what caused the leak Monday at Moghor in the Ogoni district of the oil-rich delta. While Shell officials tried to investigate, a group of unidentified saboteurs set the pipeline on fire, a Shell statement said.
Tuesday, crude for November delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange reached a new high of $54.45, after settling overnight at $53.64, fueled by continuing worries over the supply in Nigeria and reduced output in the hurricane-hobbled Gulf of Mexico.
A nation of over 130 million, Nigeria is the world's seventh-largest oil exporter and the fifth-biggest source of U.S. oil imports.