Supermajor Shell has been forced to shut down some oil production in Nigeria after a fire at a major pipeline in the Niger Delta, according to reports. Shell said it did not know the reason for the fire at its Trans Niger pipeline located at Ogoniland in Rivers state. "Our firefighters are on site trying to put out the fire and stop the spill. We have stopped some production," a spokesman told Reuters. He declined to say how much production was shut down.
The pipeline was connected to oil production fields outside Ogoniland, feeding crude to Shell's Bonny export terminal. Bonny Light is a sweet Nigerian crude that is popular with US and European refiners. Acts of sabotage against oil pipelines are common across the Niger Delta, home to Africa's biggest oil and gas industry. Violence in the region has prevented Nigeria from pumping much above two-thirds of its installed capacity since early 2006, costing it billions of dollars in lost revenue.