World Bulletin / News Desk
Royal Dutch Shell may be forced to shut down "completely" its 150,000 barrel per day Nembe Creek oil pipeline in Nigeria due to persistent thefts, the company's local unit said on Monday.
The Nembe trunkline is one the most important production routes for Africa's top crude oil exporter, feeding the benchmark Bonny Light export terminal. The pipeline was replaced in 2010 at a cost of $1.1 billion, Shell says.
But criminal gangs tap into exposed pipelines in the winding creeks and waterways in the Niger Delta. Some of the crude is refined locally but the majority is transferred onto larger ships offshore and sold internationally.
Oil theft also has a devastating environmental impact, destroying fishing communities and poisoning water used for drinking and bathing in parts the Niger Delta.
Flowstations on the pipeline were shut down three times between Feb. 22 and Feb. 25 due to thefts, with each incident deferring 150,000 bpd of production, Shell said in a statement.
"This is really getting to the crunch I must say," Shell Nigeria's managing director Mutiu Sunmonu said in a statement.
"It is getting to the crunch that rather than allow people to continue to attack my pipeline and devastate the environment, I may actually consider shutting in the pipeline completely.
"...The situation in the last few weeks is unprecedented. The volume being stolen is the highest in the last three years; over 60,000 bpd from Shell alone," he said.
Experts state that the crisis poses risks to the region, which is significant for oil production and exports in the world.
Federal Reserve removes word 'patient;' interest rate increase expected within months. Yellen says timing of rate rise 'not decided,' but will come anytime after April; holds current rates at 0 to 0.25 pct.
Many emerging-market currencies have fallen against the dollar in recent weeks
Anticipated Federal Reserve interest rate hikes making dollar strong against most emerging market currencies, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan says.
European Statistical Agency says slight decline fuelled by drop in production of durable consumer goods.
EU will use all its foreign policy instruments to establish strategic energy partnerships with producing and transit countries.
Dollar strength and waning investor confidence are driving the lira lower
Greece has already received two bailouts totalling 240 billion euros but fellow euro zone member Ireland said last week that it would have to negotiate a third programme.
The Ukraine crisis has tested the loyalties of Bulgaria, a Balkan country with historical ties to Moscow and heavily dependent on Russian energy supplies.
Syria expels three United Nations aid workers hindering aid development in the country
Russia has overcome a "psychological barrier" and is ready to deepen its economic ties with China, Deputy Prime MinisterArkady Dvorkovich said
With Chancellor Angela Merkel's right-left coalition plus the opposition Greens, it was the biggest majority for any euro zone rescue package so far in the 631-seat chamber.
The agreement commits Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi to cooperate with the United States in customs issues, ease red tape at borders, reduce customs wait times and harmonize trade standards.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has unnerved China with his re-examination of certain projects that Chinahas invested in, including a $1.5 billion "port city" project in Colombo.
EU energy chief Maros Sefcovic invited Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Demchyshyn for talks
Gazprom and Ukrainian state energy firm Naftogaz have accused each other of not sticking to agreements on gas supplies.