* Shell says force majeure effective from Aug. 16
* Trade sources say output cut by up to 100,000 bpd
* Force majeure on Soku gas plant remains
(Adds update on Soku gas plant in last para)
By Nick Tattersall and Joe Brock
LAGOS/LONDON, Aug 18 Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L)
declared force majeure on its Nigerian Bonny Light oil stream
after a rise in sabotage on its pipelines cut output by up to
100,000 barrels per day, trade sources said on Wednesday.
A Shell spokesman in Nigeria said the force majeure, which
frees the Anglo-Dutch firm from contractual deliveries to
customers due to actions beyond its control, took effect from
Aug. 16. He gave no comment on any production impact.
Bonny Light is a light crude popular with U.S. and European
refiners and has been Nigeria's largest oil stream, but the
onshore production facilities are particularly vulnerable.
Two oil trading sources said Bonny Light output had been
reduced by as much as 100,000 bpd by recent sabotage.
Shell warned on Sunday of a rise in acts of sabotage on its
crude oil pipelines in Nigeria's southern Niger Delta in recent
Shell's Nigerian SPDC joint venture said it had recorded
three incidents this month of suspected thieves drilling holes
or using hacksaws to pierce pipelines in the Cawthorne Channel
leading to its Bonny export terminal and siphon off oil.
The company said it was working to repair the Cawthorne
Channel pipeline and had set up containment booms to prevent oil
seeping further into the Niger Delta, a vast network of mangrove
creeks, which make up one of the world's largest wetlands.
The force majeure on gas deliveries from Shell's Soku gas
feed plant to the Nigeria LNG (NLNG) plant at Bonny remains in
place, a company spokesman said on Wednesday. Soku's pipelines
were damaged by thieves in 2008 and leaked again last year.
(Additional reporting by Daniel Fineren, editing by Alison