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Hundreds of Nigerians stormed on Friday a Shell-owned crude flow station that feeds the Bonny export terminal, protesting against lack of jobs and demanding infrastructure development, according to a Reuters witness.
The protesters were also asking for an end to oil pollution in the Niger Delta and claimed that they were not benefiting from the oil-rich resources in the restive area. The army sent reinforcements to the Belema Flow Station in Rivers State, after the protesters had said that they would remain at the facility for two weeks, according to the witness.
It was not immediately clear if the protest had disrupted any operations or if the situation has had an impact on crude oil production.
The Nigerian unit of Shell said on July 24 that it had shut its Trans Niger Pipeline due to a leak, while the managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said that the pipeline was attacked, effectively shutting in 150,000 bpd of crude oil output.
Shell’s Nigeria subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), said back then that it had shut the pipeline following a leak that had occurred in Ogoniland. Trans Niger Pipeline is the other export route for Bonny Light exports, the first being the Nembe Creek Trunk Line, which had closed earlier in July. The closure of the Trans Niger Pipeline effectively shut Bonny Light exports for a few days.
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On July 28, Shell extended the force majeure on Bonny Light because of the Trans Niger Pipeline closure, and a source told Reuters that the Nembe Creek Trunk Link had resumed operations.
Nigeria, which is exempt from the OPEC output cut deal, has started recovering its crude oil production in recent months after militant attacks abated. In July, Nigerian crude output averaged 1.748 million bpd, up by 34,300 bpd compared to June, according to OPEC’s secondary sources. Nigeria, together with fellow exempt African producer Libya, contributed the most to OPEC’s 172,600-bpd output increase last month.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.