ABC NEWS: Royal Dutch/Shell Cos. Resume Production at Oil Stations Shut Down by Protesters in Nigeria: “Villagers in southern Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta were protesting what they said was a lack of local benefits from more than four decades of oil drilling around their impoverished community...” (ShellNews.net) Posted 5 Jan 05
LAGOS, Nigeria — Royal Dutch/Shell Cos. on Tuesday resumed production at two pumping stations that were shut down three weeks ago by villagers demanding a greater local share of southern Nigeria's oil wealth.
Hundreds of villagers had overrun two Shell pumping stations and one owned by ChevronTexaco Corp. at the height of the protest, on Dec. 5.
The protests blocked a total of 120,000 barrels a day 100,000 from Shell and 20,000 from ChevronTexaco.
Villagers in southern Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta were protesting what they said was a lack of local benefits from more than four decades of oil drilling around their impoverished community, Kula.
The Niger Delta accounts for nearly all of Nigeria's 2.5 million barrels of daily exports.
Nigeria is Africa's leading oil producer, the world's seventh-largest exporter and the No. 5 source of U.S. oil imports.
Villagers left the platforms after three days on condition that the oil giants would resume production only after local demands had been negotiated fully.
ChevronTexaco reopened its own platform last week and there were no disruptions to its exports, company officials said.
Shell was reopening its shut stations after Nigerian authorities intervened to assure the communities their grievances would be addressed, a Shell company spokesman said.
Disruptions to crude oil loading from the protest were expected to last through January, he added.
Protests frequently disrupt production in the Niger Delta, where impoverished communities complain of being deprived of the oil riches pumped from their region.
Click here for ShellNews.net HOME PAGE