Nigerian pipeline fire causes Shell production cut

November 9, 2011

, LAGOS, Nov 9 – A pipeline fire in southern Nigeria has caused a cut in part of Shell’s production in the country, the oil company said on Wednesday, with a spill also reported in connection with the incident.

The fire broke out on the Okordia-Rumuekpe line at Ikarama in Bayelsa state, located in the Niger Delta, the country’s main oil-producing region, Shell’s Nigerian joint venture said in a statement.

“Some production has been shut in,” the statement said. “A joint investigation visit planned for tomorrow (Thursday) will determine the cause and impact of the fire.”

Shell said it had “received reports of a spill on the line yesterday and were mobilising for the investigation of the cause when news of the fire came in today. We will now work to put out the fire before investigation and repairs.”

The Anglo-Dutch firm did not provide details on how much production was affected.

Such incidents occur regularly and are often caused by oil thieves seeking to steal crude for sale on the lucrative black market.

Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil producer. Shell has historically been the country’s largest producer.

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