THE NEW YORK TIMES: Shell Shuts Down More Nigerian Oil Output: “Protesting villagers have forced the Nigerian subsidiary of Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Cos. to cut oil output in the volatile Niger Delta, hampering efforts by the Anglo-Dutch oil company to recover from earlier protests last month, a company spokesman said Thursday” (ShellNews.net) Posted 14 Jan 05
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) -- Protesting villagers have forced the Nigerian subsidiary of Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Cos. to cut oil output in the volatile Niger Delta, hampering efforts by the Anglo-Dutch oil company to recover from earlier protests last month, a company spokesman said Thursday.
The latest protest has shut off 8,000 barrels per day of oil since Jan. 7. It follows a string of oil platform invasions by hundreds of villagers in December in the Niger Delta, where poverty-stricken residents complain they are not benefiting from the riches pumped from their soil.
Nigeria is Africa's top oil exporter, and the fifth largest supplier of oil to the United States.
Royal Dutch/Shell shut off oil output in Odeama village after the Jan. 7 protest by villagers who demanded the company repair a generator it had provided them with, said a company spokesman, speaking on customary condition of anonymity.
``Instead of calling us to help them, they went and shut down the flow station,'' he said.
Shell has since been negotiating with the villagers to reach an agreement allowing production to restart, the spokesman said.
The latest protest occurred as Shell was working to restart oil output cut off last month, when hundreds of villagers elsewhere in the Niger Delta demonstrated for three days and forced Shell to slash production by 114,000 barrels a day. Nigeria puts out 2.5 million barrels per day.
The December protests also forced ChevronTexaco Corp. to cut off 20,000 barrels per day, which has since been brought back onstream.
Including the current shutdowns, unrest has forced Nigerian oil producers to cut off 230,000 barrels per day of oil output, or nearly 10 percent of its capacity.
Shell has restored 65,000 barrels per day of the oil shut off in December, said the spokesman, adding that another 49,000 remained closed in the Ekulama, Egbema and Santa Barbara oil fields.
He said Shell needs to do repairs and maintenance on the three platforms before returning to normal production levels.
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