25 August 2011
Attacks on key pipeline force company to declare 'force majeure' and reduce exports by 300,000 barrels a day
John Vidal, environment editor guardian.co.uk,
's declaration this week that it cannot meet its international commitment to export 300,000 barrels a day of crude oil was caused by the company withdrawing contracts to pay people to monitor and protect the pipeline, Shell and independent reports indicate. Nigeria
Nine oil spills in three weeks along one pipeline in the Niger Delta have forced Shell Nigeria to declare that it cannot meet its international contracts to export 300,000 barrels a day of crude oil.
Nine oil spills in three weeks along the Adibawa-Okordia pipeline in the Niger Delta are believed to be the result of sabotage by disaffected youths using hacksaws. An unknown quantity of oil has been lost and, since 2 August, more than 100 houses have burned down, with fishing grounds and farmland polluted With three more spills reported in the last 24 hours it appears that the company has now lost some control of the pipeline.
On Tuesday the company declared "force majeure" on all Bonny light [crude] exports until the end of October. Force majeure is a legal term releasing a company from contractual obligations due to circumstances beyond their control. "On August 21, another three hacksaw cuts were reported on the nearby Adibawa delivery line," said Shell in a statement. "Some production is shut in while the line is repaired."