LAGOS- A fire has forced the closure of a key oil pipeline in Nigeria, Shell said Tuesday, amid ongoing challenges including militant attacks that are losing oil multinationals billions of dollars in what used to be Africa's biggest petroleum producer.
The Trans Niger Pipeline feeds the strategic Bonny Export Terminal, which militants attacked last week.
Militant attacks, low oil prices and weak refinery margins have cost Dutch-British Shell and US-based Chevron and ExxonMobil $7.1 billion in the first half of the year, representing about 70 percent of their earnings, Lagos-based SBM Intelligence risk analysts estimate.
The Trans Niger Pipeline was shut down Monday to investigate the fire's cause and impact, Shell Nigeria spokesman Precious Okolobo said. The fire was "raging" until Tuesday morning, environmental activist Celestine Akpobari said.