Unrest Costing Nigeria 397,697 B/D in Oil Output

LAGOS (Dow Jones Newswires), December 5, 2008

Unrest in the Niger Delta, the heart of Nigeria's oil industry, is costing 397,697 barrels of lost production a day, the Department of Petroleum Resources said Friday.

Some 113 oil fields -- operated by Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Chevron Corp., Mobil Producing Nigeria, a unit of Exxon Mobil Corp., Elf Petroleum Nigeria Limited, Canada's Addax Petroleum Corp. and the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company -- are shut due to security, community and operational issues, it said.

"Average daily production deferment in the first quarter was 406,393 barrels a day, as against the current 397,697 barrels a day," said the department, which regulates Nigeria's oil and gas industry.

Oil pipelines, facilities and personnel in the Niger Delta have been targets of militant attacks in the past three years, which have cut Nigeria's oil output by more than a quarter.

Total production now stands at around 2 million barrels a day, down from 2.6 million barrels in 2006.

Nigeria, which counts on oil for 99% of its export earnings and 85% of its government revenues, according to World Bank figures, was Africa's largest oil producer before it was overtaken in April by Angola.  

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