Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell says protesters have sabotaged a pipeline hub in southern Nigeria, forcing the company to suspend production of 150,000 barrels per day.

A Shell spokesman said Wednesday that protesters from the K-Dere community in the Niger Delta invaded the Bomu pipeline complex on Monday and tampered with some equipment.

Protesters occupied the same pipeline hub earlier this month, occupying it for six days and forcing a similar cut in production.

Attacks and kidnappings have plagued Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta region since late 2005. The unrest has caused a 25 percent drop in Nigeria's oil production.

In his inaugural address Tuesday, new Nigerian president Umaru Yar'dua said the unrest in the delta demands urgent attention and promised swift action to address it.

Militants have been demanding that a greater share of the region's oil wealth be directed to impoverished local villages.

Criminal gangs have taken advantage of the unrest.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.