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Shell declares force majeure

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Shell has declared a force majeure in effect from 16th August at 1700 GMT, as due to acts of sabotage on two pipelines they will not be able to meet their contracted supply. The declaration comes after Shell announced that they had had a record number of attacks on their pipelines in the last few weeks, which had led to production halts. Shell has to deal with an incredibly large number of sabotage attempts in the Niger delta from both militants and from thieves trying to steal the light crude oil.

Pipeline attacks have declined since an amnesty was offered to militants, who were fighting for a fairer distribution of oil revenue, last year.

However, the attacks have not completely stopped. Shell has reported that it has found drill holes and hacksaw cuts on two pipelines carrying Bonny Light crude, where thieves have attempted to siphon off oil; this has caused the pipelines to be closed for repair.

"The environmental and social cost of widespread sabotage is simply unacceptable," Shell Vice President Babs Omotowa said over the weekend. Shell has stated previously that over 98% of oil leaks are caused by sabotage in the region. The company has taken steps to stop the oil spreading from the leaking pipelines.

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