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Royal Dutch Shell Shuts Nigeria Gas Pumping

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe's largest oil company

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe's largest oil company, shut natural gas pumping at one of its Nigerian fields following a fire on a pipeline in the south of the country.

Nigerian unit Shell Petroleum Development Co reported the fire on the Utorogu-Ughelli gas condensate pipeline in the Delta state on Friday, Alexandra Wright, a London-based company spokeswoman, said. Shell had to declare force majeure on deliveries to the nation's gas pipeline network, she said.

Nigeria's Vanguard newspaper said that the fire broke out because of an attempt to tap the line to siphon off the fuel. Wright said the helicopter inspection spotted abandoned hoses and drums, without elaborating on the cause of the fire, Bloomberg News said.