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Texaco Resuming S.Nigeria Operation

September 17, 1999

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) _ Texaco Overseas Petroleum Co. plans to resume operations in Bayelsa State, a month after a protest forced it to suspend its activities.

The decision followed an agreement between Texaco, the Bayelsa State government and host communities in its operation area, Yusuf Njie, an official for the firm said Friday.

``We expected production to resume today but this has not happened because we are still carrying out assessment of our equipment,″ Njie said.

He said the agreement to resume the firm’s 50,000 barrels a day operation followed the payment of about half a million dollars in compensation to Bayelsa communities for damages caused by an oil spill in the area last year.

Texaco had also received assurances from the community that their operations would no longer be disturbed, Njie said.

In August, Texaco ceased production at its five oil rigs near the Niger River delta. The company evacuated all employees from its rigs after a series of disruptions of its crude production.

Protestors regularly sabotage pipeline installations and take hostages from oil companies to call attention to the lack of development and abject living conditions in the southern Niger Delta, where most of the country’s oil is drilled.

Violent protests in the Niger Delta have cost Nigeria about $1 billion in oil revenue so far this year, oil and gas industry workers announced at a meeting last month.

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