Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it won’t attempt to repair a key pipeline in Nigeria for now after militants attacked it a second time last week, the latest sign of alarm among foreign oil companies in the African nation.
Bloomberg reports that Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry said the company had to withdraw repair crews last week after a second attack against the 48-inch Forcados export pipeline that links onshore storage tanks with an offshore port.
“We cannot operate or repair if our people are threatened,” Henry said in an interview at Shell’s annual capital markets day. While the company previously said it planned to repair the facility, first attacked in February, this month, the CFO said that it was “not possible” at this time.
Shell’s resignation over the disabled pipeline suggests a new level of insecurity as a wave of violence hits the oil-rich Niger Delta, leaving production at its lowest level in nearly three decades. In the past, energy companies were able to repair pipelines after attacks, barring a few exceptions deep into the region’s swamps and creeks. The attacks are more destructive than in the past, Henry said.
“There is clearly better organization and targeting,” according to the CFO.