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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 May 2007, 17:02 GMT 18:02 UK
Locals seize Nigeria oil facility
Nigeria's dangerous oil rigs
Protests have led to cuts in oil production in Nigeria
Angry Ogoni youths have taken over an oil facility in Nigeria's volatile Niger Delta region leading to cuts in oil production, officials say.

The villagers, angered by oil spills from pipelines running through their community say they will not leave until they are paid compensation.

The protests have led Royal Dutch Shell Plc to reduce crude oil production by 170,000 barrels per day.

A Shell spokesman said negotiations with the youths had begun.

The BBC's Abdullahi Kaura in Port Harcourt says the Ogoni people have had a running battle with the oil giant for the past 14 years over oil spills.

Nigeria's Niger Delta

Insiders say Shell is planning to resume production in Ogoniland, 14 years after they were forced out of the area by the villagers, a factor that may have triggered the new protest inside the facility near K-Dere in Ogoniland.

Nigeria's authorities have warned the company to resume oil production in Ogoniland or risk having their oil prospecting licence for oil blocks in the area revoked.

"The villagers are aware of this and may have decided to take over the facility to remind the company that they haven't forgotten their past deeds," a security source told the BBC's News website.

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