Nigerian Shell facility destroyed : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Saturday, 29 September, 2001, 01:47 GMT 02:47 UK

Nigerian Shell facility destroyed

Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil company, says it will need 18 months to repair a southern Nigerian flow station, which has been severely damaged in an attack by armed youths. Shell says the attack has wiped off 40,000 barrels per day of its production.

"The flow station will remain shut for the next 18 months," said Frank Efeduma, Shell's External Relations Manager in the southern oil town of Warri.

Shell is the dominant company in Nigeria's oil industry "It will cost Shell $25 million to bring the station back on stream," he added.

Shell, Nigeria's largest oil producer, has been the target of local militants who demand a greater share of the country's wealth.

The company said the shutdown of the Olomoro flow station would not affect its Nigeria export programme.

Shell produces about half of Nigeria's total daily output of oil - about 800,000 to 900,000 of a daily total of just over two million barrels.

In the past, militants have kidnapped oil workers as bargaining chips for cash or jobs. But the kidnappings have lessened this year.

'Criminal act'

Armed youths took over Olomoro on Thursday and tried to shut it down, Shell officials said.

But then a build-up of pressure in the surge tanks caused the explosion, which put the facility out of use and spilled crude oil over several hundred square metres of woodland around the station.

Mr Efeduma said the attack, apparently carried out by ethnic-Isoko youths from the neighbouring Olomoro and Oleh communities, was criminal.

"If you calculate how much Shell and the nation will lose in 18 months, it will be enormous," he said.

"Those responsible for this must be fished out and brought to book."

A Shell spokesman said on Thursday that police had arrested nearly 40 militants.

-- Martin Thompson (, September 29, 2001

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