Shell Contains Nigerian Pipeline Blaze

Shell said engineers have brought a major Nigerian oil pipeline fire under control, but production from the Niger Delta region will be reduced by 13,000 barrels per day while repairs continue.

Shell said that the initial damage to the Trans-Niger pipeline, which carries crude oil from wells in the delta region to the Bonny export terminal, had been caused by a hacksaw cut.

Gangs often attack oil facilities in Nigeria -- as a political protest, in order to pressure oil firms into paying protection money or in a bid to steal oil -- and it was not clear why this pipeline had been targeted.

Shell said the attack "has caused a production cutback of some 13,000 barrels per day, and not 20,000 barrels per day as envisaged yesterday. We are progressing to put out the fire, clamp the leak, recover the spilled oil and clean the consequent spillage".