LONDON - Royal Dutch Shell said on Wednesday its Nigerian joint venture has declared force majeure on the country's Bonny Light crude oil exports in April and May.

The force majeure is as a result of the recent production shut-in from the fire on Bomu manifold on the Trans Niger Pipeline in Eastern operations, a Shell spokesman said.

Shell said the joint venture extinguished the fire on Tuesday and was working to repair the line and restore production as soon as possible.

Traders said prior to the disruptions the pipeline carried around 120,000 barrels per day of Bonny Light crude, although they were unsure how much of this would be shut in.

The previous force majeure on Bonny Light crude oil exports remains in place as does Shell's force majeure on Nigerian Forcados crude oil exports.

On February 12, 2009, Shell declared force majeure on Bonny Light shipments, affecting the remainder of February and March offtakes with some deferred to April.

Bonny Light is one of Nigeria's benchmark crude oil grades but production has been subject to delays due to militant attacks on oil facilities and disruptions to production.

Prior to Tuesday's force majeure an estimated 200,000 barrels per day of Bonny Light was shut in.

Gunmen attacked navy personnel guarding a Shell facility at Nembe in Bayelsa on Monday, killing one sailor and stealing four speedboats belonging to the firm, in what the military said was revenge for the sinking of several militant vessels. [ID:nLF98411]

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, Nigeria's main militant group, said it could not guarantee the safety of Shell staff and equipment. Shell also has a force majeure running on its Nigerian Forcados oil shipments due to the impact of explosions on the trans-Escravos pipeline.

A senior official from Nigeria's state oil firm NNPC, which jointly operates the pipeline with Shell's Nigerian unit SPDC, said as much as 70,000 bpd of Forcados had been shut down due to the damage. (Reporting by Joe Brock; editing by James Jukwey)