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SPDC Declares Force Majeure Over Multiple Trans Niger Pipeline Fires

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) has declared Force Majeure on Bonny Light loadings for June and July 2011. The declaration is as a result of production cutbacks caused by leaks and fires which occurred last week on the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP). Joint Investigation Visits comprising government agencies, communities and SPDC found that the incidents were caused by hacksaw cuts which indicate third party interference and activities of unknown persons.

The leaks have been repaired leading to resumption of production on June 12. The TNP which transports production from SPDC and third parties in its Eastern operations to Bonny Terminal, was affected by leaks and five separate fire incidents on both the 24” and 28” lines in Bodo, Bera, Biera and Mogho all in Ogoni land, on June 9. SPDC immediately shut the lines, mobilized its pipelines response and fire fighting teams and extinguished the fires by June 11.

Production deferment over the period has affected the loading programme at Bonny Terminal, and SPDC will now have to advise customers of a revised schedule. The Force Majeure came into effect at noon today (June 13).

Vice President HSE, Infrastructure & Logistics, Shell Sub Saharan Africa, Babs Omotowa said: β€œThe leaks and fires show a worrying trend not only on the TNP but also on our facilities elsewhere. Sadly, the trend is continuing unabated. At end April, we recorded more than 35 sabotage spills. SPDC is continuing to upgrade facilities, replace pipelines and improve oil spill response systems. But no matter how much we improve our performance, until the activities of oil thieves and illegal refiners are brought to an end, the vast majority of oil spills in the Niger Delta will continue.”