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updated: 8/22/2011 12:56 PM

Shell: 6 oil spills 'sabotage' in Nigeria delta

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Associated Press

LAGOS, Nigeria -- Royal Dutch Shell PLC says six recent oil spills in Nigeria's southern delta were a result of "sabotage" on one of their pipelines, and that a seventh spill on a nearby line is showing similar damage.

Shell said Monday that its Nigerian subsidiary saw the repeated damage on its 20˝-mile (33-kilometer) Okordia-Rumuekpe trunk line that runs through Bayelsa State in the Niger Delta. The oil firm says the damage appears to have been caused by hacksaws.

The company said another spill Sunday on its nearby Adibawa line also looked like it came from hacksaw cuts.

Oil spills remain common in the Niger Delta, more than 50 years after the country saw its first well open. Nigeria is a major supplier of crude oil to the U.S.