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12

Royal Dutch Shell Hopes To Restart Production In Nigeria

Royal Dutch Shell hopes to restart the smallest of its Nigerian oilfields soon

Royal Dutch Shell hopes to restart the smallest of its Nigerian oilfields soon, the firm's exploration and production chief said on Friday.

Nigeria's biggest foreign operator Shell pulled out of parts of the Niger delta in February after rebels launched a new wave of attacks against oil installations and took foreign workers hostage. They say they want access to Nigeria's oil wealth.

The loss of around 500,000 barrels per day of high quality Nigerian oil -- most of it pumped by Shell -- has contributed to a rally in the oil price towards its $70 (40 pounds) a barrel record high.

Nigeria's Minister of State for Petroleum Edmund Daukoru, also in Paris, said he was optimistic the roughly 120,000 bpd offshore EA field would be back by the beginning of next week.

Brinded said a solution to the conflict in the Niger Delta appeared closer after a meeting on Wednesday between Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and community leaders from the area.