The Scotsman: Sabotage May Force Shell to Cut Nigerian Oil Production: “It was not known what caused the leak on Monday. While Shell officials tried to investigate, a group of saboteurs set the pipeline on fire.” (ShellNews.net)
12 Oct 04
Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell may be forced to cut back on its Nigerian production following a leak and a fire on a major pipeline transporting crude oil to its export terminal.
It was not known what caused the leak on Monday. While Shell officials tried to investigate, a group of saboteurs set the pipeline on fire.
The news came as union leaders protesting at rising fuel prices in Nigeria were in the second day of a four-day nationwide strike, shutting down businesses and leading to violence in some areas.
Shell produces more than one million barrels of oil a day in Nigeria – accounting for nearly half the country’s crude exports.
Shell said its exports had not been affected, but the company will divert crude oil to another pipeline to enable repairs, a manoeuvre that “may involve some cutback in production.”
Oil industry officials frequently blame pipeline ruptures on vandals and criminal gangs who siphon off the crude into buckets, barrels and tug boats.
Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil producer and the fifth-biggest supplier of oil to the United States.