Shell: New leaks close major Nigerian oil pipeline

Shell-Nigeria: New leaks force another closure of oil pipeline carrying 150,000 barrels a day

Associated Press

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) -- Shell Nigeria says new leaks have forced it to close the Trans-Niger Pipeline that carries 150,000 barrels of crude daily, 10 days after the pipeline was reopened following repairs for leaks.

Spokesman Precious Okolobo said in a statement Wednesday night that a team has been dispatched to repair leaks at three places in the southern Niger Delta's Ogoniland. A joint investigation including community leaders will determine the cause and impact of the spills.

Shell Nigeria said in July the pipeline is safe despite suffering 25 leaks in two years — most blamed on theft estimated at 60,000 barrels a day.

Human rights groups say the company sometimes blames theft to avoid paying damages to local communities and to avert criticism about corrosion on the 48-year-old pipeline.

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