Shell shuts down Bonga field over oil spill

21 December 2011, Sweetcrude, LAGOS — The Royal Dutch Shell says it has shut down the deep-water Bonga oil field in Nigeria after oil leak into the sea off Nigeria’s oil-rich southern delta.

Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary said Wednesday it closed the Bonga field Tuesday after a leak that occurred while transferring crude oil to a tanker, the Associated Press reports.

The company apologised and said it believes less than 40,000 barrels of oil leaked. It says it is cleaning up the spill.

A UN report released in August said it will take as much as 30 years to clean parts of Nigeria’s oil-stained Niger Delta.

The company’s website says Bonga, located 75 miles (120 kilometers) off the region’s coast, has the capacity to produce more than 200,000 barrels a day of crude oil and 150 million cubic feet of gas a day.

Nigeria is a top supplier of crude to the U.S.

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