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Nigeria: Delta unrest pushes output down

THE VIOLENCE that has crippled Nigeria's oil production shows no sign of abating, despite renewed attempts by the west African state to combat attacks on oil installations. Disruption caused by an upsurge of pipeline bombing, theft and extortion aimed at the oil industry caused production to fall as low as 1.7m b/d last month, according to official figures – down from 2.6m b/d in January 2006. Violence in the Niger Delta region – where most of the country's crude oil originates – could have far-reaching consequences for the rest of Nigeria, which derives more than 95% of its foreign-exchange earnings from oil. As a member of Opec, Nigeria is also finding its long-held position as Africa's p

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