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Royal Dutch Shell: ‘Unprecendented’ number of oil thefts target its Nigeria operation

By Associated Press, Updated: Wednesday, November 2, 10:07 AM

LAGOS, Nigeria — Royal Dutch Shell PLC says its Nigerian subsidiary faces an “unprecedented” level of oil thefts targeting its operation in the oil-rich African nation.

Shell said in a statement Wednesday that it has seen 10 spills caused by theft since the end of August. The company said it had to shut its Imo River field in August, which produces about 25,000 barrels of oil a day.

Shell said pipelines bore drill holes and valves, signs of thieves siphoning off crude oil.

Meanwhile, the firm said it lifted a production warning on its Forcados production after it discovered a “sabotage leak” on its Trans Forcados pipeline.

Shell’s pipelines run across Nigeria’s oil-rich delta region of swamps, mangroves and creeks. Nigeria is a top supplier of crude to the U.S.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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