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Shell makes a commitment to Nigeria.

Oil Giant Shell stressed its commitment to Nigeria yesterday after a report said ethnic violence could force it to withdraw by 2009.

The group said it was ready to overhaul its operating practices in Nigeria, which accounts for 10pc of its total production and where 5,000 people have been killed in the past four years.

Experts commissioned by Shell outlined a number of failings by the company in an internal report.

They criticised the company for sometimes feeding the conflict by the way it awards contracts, gains access to land and deals with local representatives.

Shell yesterday published the findings in a report on its economic, environmental and social performance in 2003. It comes as the group strives to restore investor confidence in the wake of its reserves scandal this year.

Shell's considerable involvement in the country includes the installation of the Wallsend-built Bonga oil platform. But problems with the oil field where it is sited mean that production from the platform has been repeatedly delayed. Emmanuel Etomi, sustainable community development manager for Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC), accepted the oil industry was "inadvertently contributing" to the conflict in the country. The company was willing to change its operating, security and community development practices through a new strategy to be drawn up this year, he said.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 11, 2004
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