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Shell restarts Nigerian oil pipeline

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell has announced it has resumed production after repairing a sabotaged supply pipeline in southern Nigeria.

On 19th June, the Trans-Niger Pipeline (TNP) was shut down following an explosion and fire in an oft-targeted area in the Niger Delta. The shutdown resulted in a cut of 150 000 bpd of oil.

“SPDC [Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd] has repaired the valve point and removed six other crude oil theft connections in its continuing efforts to maintain the integrity of the line,” SPDC, the Nigerian subsidiary of Shell, said of the incident in Bodo West, Ogoniland.

The pipeline, which was shut down in a precautionary response to the fire “has been reopened for production.”

Swift reactions

Managing Director of SPDC and Country Chair Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mutiu Sunmonu said the company responded promptly to fix the problem.

“At the earliest opportunity, we quickly mobilised teams to respond to a crude theft spill on the 28 in. TNP on 10th June and the explosion and fire on 19th June,” he said.

“We conducted an assessment of the risks and decided, with the support of the JTF [military joint task force] to enforce a restriction of access to the site for safety reasons.”

It has been estimated that Nigeria loses some US$ 6 billion in revenue per year because of rampant crude oil theft.


Sunmonu also referred to the reported arrest of some employees of an SPDC service contractor  on suspicion of crude theft on the TNP, and said: “We continue to co-operate with the JTF in the investigations. We have confidence that the arrested persons shall be treated in line with the principle of presumption of innocence and hope for a speedy and transparent dispensation of justice.

“As we have stated previously, crude theft has severe consequences lasting far beyond our lifetime. I have a personal stake in this tragedy having spent nearly all my adult and working life in the Niger Delta. The trend of crude theft will result in long-lasting damage to the wellbeing of present and future generations. All stakeholders who are genuinely interested in seeing this problem curtailed should join hands and stop this crime against the people and the environment of the Niger Delta,” he added.

Edited from various sources by Cecilia Rehn.

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