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Shell Says Improved Security Needed to Curb Nigeria Oil Theft

Nigeria needs to improve security patrols on its pipelines to curb theft, according to Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the nation’s largest oil producer.

Shell removed 135 illegal connections from its pipelines in the first ten months of the year, Tony Okonedo, a Lagos-based company spokesman, said today by e-mail. At least 96 caused spills, he said.

“Every time SPDC shuts down production to undertake repairs and disable identified theft points, the crude thieves use the opportunity of pressure drop along the line to install new ones elsewhere along the facility,” he said. SPDC is Shell’s Nigerian unit.

Shell shut 25,000 barrels a day of crude output on Nov. 11 from its Imo River field after finding several crude theft points on a connecting pipeline. Those arrested in connection with that incident are from a contractor company providing surveillance services, Okonedo said.

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