Twin blow cuts Nigerian oil flow

Nigeria's oil production has been cut by 10% after an explosion and the kidnapping of four foreign oil workers. In the southern Delta region, gunmen in three boats boarded a vessel and seized the men, said a spokesman for oil giant Royal Dutch Shell. Diplomats say the hostages come from the UK, the US, Honduras and Bulgaria, although Shell has not confirmed this. Elsewhere in the Delta, a major pipeline that feeds an export terminal has been ruptured by militants. Overall, production is down by some 220,000 barrels a day - almost 10% of Nigeria's average output of 2.6m barrels. Meanwhile, the first audit of Nigeria's oil and gas industry has been published and, without finding direct evidence of fraud, it reveals "accounting weaknesses". Discrepancies worth hundreds of millions of dollars were found between what oil companies paid in taxes and what the government said it received.