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Houston Chronicle: Shell CEO to Meet Nigerian President

Jan. 23, 2008, 6:58AM
© 2008 The Associated Press

DAVOS, Switzerland — The head of Royal Dutch Shell PLC said Wednesday that “conditions must improve” before the company could resume production that was cut because of unrest in Nigeria.

Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, CEO Jeroen van der Veer told Dow Jones Newswires he would meet with Nigeria’s president, Umaru Yar’Adua, on Friday about security and energy funding.

Van der Veer said he hoped to regain its share of lost oil output but “conditions must improve for us to restart production, and we’re not there yet.”

At the meeting with Yar’Adua “we have lots to talk about. It’s not only about security, it’s also about funding. The lack of funding for some projects has caused issues with meeting targets. … It’s prevented us from ending all gas flaring,” he said.

Gas flaring means the burning off of natural gas found along with oil.

Yar’Adua confirmed the two men would meet and said he would seek more investment from Shell into Nigeria’s downstream energy sector.

“I want to extract from him a commitment to invest in the downstream sector in Nigeria,” Yar’Adua told reporters.

This would include projects related to domestic gas supply, fertilizer and petrochemicals.

He also broached idea than international companies could enter joint ventures with the national oil company to build power plants in the west African nation.

As for OPEC, of which Nigeria is a member, he said it was too early to know what decision the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries would take on oil supply when it meets Feb. 1 in Vienna, Austria.

He said Nigeria wanted “prices that are affordable for consumers so that we have sustained income.”

Facilities run by Shell and other oil multinationals working in Nigeria have come under renewed attack since the leading militant group in the delta region ended a self-imposed cease-fire in September 2007.

Attacks by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, or MEND, and other armed groups in the oil-rich but impoverished delta in the past two years have cut Nigeria’s oil exports of 2.5 million barrels a day by more than 20 percent and added pressure to global oil prices. More than 200 foreign oil workers have been kidnapped during the same period, with most of them released unharmed.

Nigeria is Africa’s leading oil exporter and the fifth-biggest source of U.S. oil imports.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/fn/5477695.html

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1 Comment on “Houston Chronicle: Shell CEO to Meet Nigerian President”

  1. #1 inemo
    on Jan 23rd, 2008 at 11:07

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x41afh_fire-in-the-delta_music

    Help us to protect the environment and the people of the Niger Delta.

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