aljazeera.net: Shell reopens oil stations in Nigeria: "The Anglo-Dutch energy group Shell has reopened all its oil pumping stations shut down last month because of community unrest in southern Nigeria, a spokesman has said." (ShellNews.net) 14 Jan 05
Friday 14 January 2005
The Anglo-Dutch energy group Shell has reopened all its oil pumping stations shut down last month because of community unrest in southern Nigeria, a spokesman has said.
"Ekulama I is up," the spokesman said on Friday, referring to the last of several flow-stations to reopen after angry villagers from the Kula community forced Shell to shut down the facilities since 5 December.
The shut-down caused a production loss of some 130,000 barrels per day of crude oil exports from the Bonny export terminal.
Shell is Nigeria's biggest operator, accounting for almost half of the west African country's daily exports of 2.5 million barrels.
The Anglo-Dutch oil giant has in the past week gradually reopened three other plants - Belema, Santa Barbara and Ekulama II - which led to resumption of 65,000 barrels per day out of 130,000 barrels from the area.
The spokesman could not however say if the reopening of the Ekulama I plant on Friday would enable Shell to reach the peak production of some 130,000 barrels per day from the protest-hit stations.
"I will advise on production rates later in the afternoon," he said.
Community unrest had forced Shell to shut down the stations accounting for a daily output of some 130,000 barrels since 5 December, 2004, when angry villagers from Kula briefly occupied them.
The shut-down forced Shell to warn clients that it would not be able to meet export contracts from its Bonny terminal until early next month.
The company reopened Ekulama II on Wednesday after successfully carrying out inspection checks on the facility, raising its output to 65,000 barrels from the area after two other plants were reopened.
Last week, the company resumed production of 47,000 barrels with the reopening of its Belema and Santa Barbara plants in Rivers State.
The spokesman said Friday the company was negotiating with angry protesters who last week attempted to occupy the Odeama Creek station, some 30km to the west of Ekulama, causing a production loss of 8000 barrels.
The villagers were protesting because a power generator provided for them by Shell had broken down and they expected the company to repair it.
"We are still repairing the generator. Hopefully by next week the job would have been done and we will restart the plant," the spokesman said.
Shell, like most oil majors operating in the coastal swamps of the oil-rich but troubled Niger delta, is regularly the target of community protests and hostage-taking.
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