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[Published: Wednesday June 18 2008]

Shell suspends oil production following Nigerian attack

Abuja, 19 June-(ANA)-Oil company Royal Dutch Shell says it hastemporarily stopped production at its main offshore oilfield in Nigeria,following a militant attack.

The raid took place overnight on the Bonga oil platform about 100km (65miles) off the coast of the Niger Delta, the company said.

It is the first attack on the oilfield, which normally produces about200,000 barrels a day.

Attacks in the inshore Niger Delta have helped drive up the world oilprices.

Nigeria's valuable offshore oilfields had always been considered difficultfor most militants to attack, the BBC's Alex Last reports from Lagos.

But for the first time in the early hours, gunmen in boats reached the Bongainstallation, Shell's flagship project.

The shutdown has cut a tenth of Nigeria's total output in one go.

This comes on top of a reduction of at least 20% in recent years followinginland attacks.(ANA)

FA/ANA/19 June 2008---

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