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Shell Oil Spills Nearly Doubled In 2011, Niger Delta Pipelines Blamed

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LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Royal Dutch Shell PLC says the number of its operational oil spills nearly doubled last year.

Shell made the statement Thursday in its annual sustainability report, saying it had 63 operational spills in 2011. That's compared to 32 spills in 2010.

Shell blamed them on restarting pipelines it hadn't run in some time in Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta over fears of militancy. Shell also said spills came from increasing thefts along its pipelines in the region.

Shell said it spilled 5,300 tons of oil in 2011. The company blamed the majority of that on a spill at its Bonga offshore oil facility in December. By comparison, the company said it spilled nearly 14,000 tons in 2009.

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