March 04, 2013
Shell Threatens to Shut Down Pipeline Over Attacks
Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell says it may be forced to shut down one of its key pipelines in Nigeria because of "unprecedented" oil thefts.
Shell Nigeria's Managing Director Mutiu Sunmonu says flow stations on the Nembe Creek Trunkline were shut down three times between February 22 and February 25, with each stop cutting production by 150,000 barrels a day.
He says it is very clear that the thefts are not just acts by desperate individuals, but that of well-funded criminal syndicates.
Sonmonu says he cannot rule out shutting down the pipeline if such activity continues.
Nigeria is Africa's largest oil producer at more than two-million barrels per day, but sabotage in the oil-producing south has been a problem for years.
A 2009 peace deal for militants in the region led to a decline in unrest, but criminal activity has continued.
Last month, Nigeria's oil minister Dienzani Alison-Madueke said the government is committed to tackling the problem of oil thefts and pipeline sabotage.