PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria (AFP) — Oil major Royal Dutch Shell said Saturday it was losing the equivalent of 30,000 barrels of crude oil per day because of recent attacks against its installations in Nigeria.
The unrest in Nigeria, Africa's biggest oil producer, helped drive oil prices to a record high above 126 dollars on Friday, analysts said.
The loss in production translates to 409 million naira (2.24 million euros, 3.47 million dollars) in lost revenue every day, said Chidi Izuwah, a spokesman for the Shell Petroleum Production Company.
Anglo-Dutch oil group Shell, Nigeria's largest oil operator, accounts for around half of the country's 2.1 million barrels per day output. An upsurge in attacks on its facilities has forced it to cut back on production.
Niger Delta militant groups -- most prominently the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) -- have sabotaged several supply pipelines owned by Shell and other oil operators in the restive region.
MEND emerged in early 2006 as the leading group calling for a greater share of Nigeria's oil revenue for the producer region. Besides attacking facilities, it has seized local and expatriate oil workers as hostages.
Overall, violence in the Niger Delta has reduced Nigeria's total production by a quarter in the past two years.