Nigerian Pipeline Attacks Cut Output

LAGOS, Nigeria -- Royal Dutch Shell PLC said Tuesday that it may not be able to fulfill some oil-export contracts after Nigerian militants sabotaged a pipeline in the Niger Delta.

Shell's announcement Tuesday means less oil will likely be shipped from Africa's biggest oil industry to global markets, a development likely to send crude prices higher.

Shell, which operates in Nigeria in a joint venture with the federal government, is the country's largest oil supplier. Militant attacks on Nigerian oil facilities have trimmed nearly one quarter of the country's regular daily output, contributing to spiraling global oil prices.

The strongest Nigerian militant group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, said it sabotaged two pipelines early Monday in the restive southern oil-producing region. Shell then shut down a trunk pipeline fed by those two smaller lines.

Shell didn't specify how much oil production was cut by the militant attack.