Nigeria Shuts Refineries After Pipelines Hit

Tuesday, December 28, 2010 @ 01:12 PM gHale

Three of Nigeria’s four refineries were not operating the week leading into the December holiday because pipelines feeding the facilities suffered damage in militant sabotage attacks.

Nigeria’s state-owned oil company, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), said vandalism of pipelines led it to shut down the Warri, Kaduna and Port Harcourt refineries but it did not say how long they had been out of action.

Africa’s most populous nation usually imports around 85 percent of its fuel needs but purchases from foreign suppliers may increase as the refinery closures are likely to cut out most of the country’s 445,000 barrel per day (bpd) refining capacity.

NNPC said its managing director visited the army chief of staff on Tuesday and requested more surveillance on the Bonny and Escravos crude pipelines, which feed the refineries.

U.S. energy firm Chevron said this week it had suspended production from a major pipeline after a sabotage attack, while Shell and Exxon have also suffered outages.

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