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Lloyds List: World oil prices soar as Nigeria rebels strike

Martyn Wingrove
Lloyds List; Feb 21, 2006
OIL PRICES soared and Nigerian offshore workers went on high alert after militants attacked oil facilities and took nine people hostage.
Crude export facilities were again the target for Nigerian rebel groups over the weekend, with militant leaders warning of more attacks on platforms, supporting vessels and possibly tankers.
Oil output from the world's eighth largest crude exporter is down some 450,000 barrels to around 2m barrels per day after Royal Dutch Shell's Forcados terminal was attacked and the EA field evacuated. Oil prices in London climbed $1.50 to around $61.50 a barrel in yesterday's trading and more rises are expected today after New York opens for the week after the Presidents' Day holiday.
Nine foreign workers were abducted at the weekend from a service barge operated by US contractor Willbros, including three Americans, two Egyptians, two from Thailand, one from the Philippines and a British security consultant.
Rebels on speedboats attacked Shell's Forcados terminal 50 kms west of Warri, hitting a pipeline and a tanker loading platform.
'We are investigating the damage and we evacuated the EA field as a precaution,' said a Shell spokeswoman. We have shut in 115,000 barrels of daily oil production at EA and all of the oil production from our western delta area a total of 455,000 bpd gross.'
Force majeure continues for Forcados and EA tanker loadings after it was imposed in January when the Trans Ramos pipeline was blown up and EA facilities were attacked.
Militants have warned of more attacks on production and export facilities, threatening to reduce Nigeria's exports by 30%. They have also warned that tankers and barges could also become targets.
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta said it carried out the attacks in retaliation for Nigerian army strikes on villages. It claims to be acting for the Ijaw tribe to claim a greater share of the region's oil wealth, but the government has claimed the rebels are a front for illegal oil exports.

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