Protests block 100,000 b/d of production in Nigeria

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Dec. 14 -- Three flow stations operated by subsidiaries of Royal Dutch/Shell and ChevronTexaco Corp. in southeastern Rivers State, Nigeria, remained shut down Dec. 14, restricting delivery of more than 100,000 b/d of crude oil, said Shell spokesman Andy Corrigan. He told Oil & Gas Journal, however, that exports have not been affected to date.

Oil movement from Shell's Ekulama One and Ekulama Two flow stations in the Ekulama swamp and the ChevronTexaco-operated Robert-Kiri Island flow station has been restricted since Dec. 6, when about 200 Nigerian youths from the Kula community converged on the stations in the Niger Delta, stopping operations and preventing at least 107 oil workers from leaving the facilities.

Most of Nigeria's 2.5 million b/d of oil production comes from the southern Niger Delta area, where Shell is a major player.

The companies have met with the Rivers State government, and government officials are talking with local residents.

Nigeria's media said the villagers' action was an effort to win compensation for exploration on their land, to secure jobs from the oil companies, and to have the companies conduct remediation for an alleged oil spill in the area.

In April, seven people, including Americans, were killed in an attack in the region as they inspected oil facilities damaged and abandoned last year during local uprisings.

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