Jump menu

Main content |  back to top

News and Media Releases

SPDC raises alarm over increased crude oil theft

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) has again raised alarm on the increasing trend of crude oil theft which has caused repeated closures of two key pipelines this year, resulting in deferment of up to 300,000 barrels of oil per day.
  • 300,000 barrels shut in from two key pipelines        
  • Force majeure declared on Bonny light exports

Force majeure has been declared on Bonny Light exports effective noon (Nigerian time) yesterday, October 10 due to production deferment from leaks observed on the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) at B-Dere, Nonwa – Tai and Bodo West. An investigation visit conducted today, comprising regulators, SPDC and members of the community discovered that the spill at B-Dere was caused by unknown persons who drilled holes on the line. Similar investigation visits are being organised for Nonwa – Tai and Bodo West. 

The entire TNP system, comprising the 24-inch and 28-inch has been closed down at least five times since early July this year due to multiple leaks from crude theft connections. The downstream section of Nembe Creek Trunkline (NCTL) between San Barth and Bonny was reopened on August 6 after the removal of 60 crude theft points, but was shut again in September with the discovery of seven additional connections. Repair of the line is progressing. 

A total of 189 crude theft points have been repaired on the TNP and NCTL between January and September this year.

“We’re dealing with a social tragedy, an environmental crisis and a sad waste of resources,” said SPDC Managing Director and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mutiu Sunmonu. “We find it difficult to safely operate our pipelines without having to shut them frequently to prevent leaks from illegal connections impacting the environment. Ironically, it appears the crude thieves use repair windows to prepare and quickly launch fresh illegal connections when we restart production.

“While SPDC continues to play its part in combating crude oil theft by amongst other things, increasing surveillance of pipelines and organising daily helicopter over-flights of pipeline routes, the experience of the past few months requires more concerted efforts by all stakeholders, including Government and communities, to address what is turning out to be a dangerous development in the Niger Delta.”

SPDC Ltd. operates the SPDC joint venture on behalf of its partners, the NNPC (55%), Total (10%) and ENI (5%) with Shell’s share being 30%.


Contact person: Precious Okolobo

Corporate Media Relations

October 11, 2013.



Cautionary note

The companies in which Royal Dutch Shell plc directly and indirectly owns investments are separate entities. In this announcement "Shell", "Shell Group" and "Royal Dutch Shell" are sometimes used for convenience where references are made to Royal Dutch Shell plc and its subsidiaries in general. Likewise, the words "we", "us" and "our" are also used to refer to subsidiaries in general or to those who work for them. These expressions are also used where no useful purpose is served by identifying the particular company or companies. "Subsidiaries", "Shell subsidiaries" and "Shell companies" as used in this announcement refer to companies in which Shell either directly or indirectly has control, by having either a majority of the voting rights or the right to exercise a controlling influence. The companies in which Shell has significant influence but not control are referred to as "associated companies" or "associates" and companies in which Shell has joint control are referred to as "jointly controlled entities". In this announcement, associates and jointly controlled entities are also referred to as "equity-accounted investments". The term "Shell interest" is used for convenience to indicate the direct and/or indirect (for example, through our 23 per cent shareholding in Woodside Petroleum Ltd.) ownership interest held by Shell in a venture, partnership or company, after exclusion of all third-party interest.


This announcement contains forward looking statements concerning the financial condition, results of operations and businesses of Shell and the Shell Group. All statements other than statements of historical fact are, or may be deemed to be, forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements of future expectations that are based on management's current expectations and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in these statements. Forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements concerning the potential exposure of Shell and the Shell Group to market risks and statements expressing management’s expectations, beliefs, estimates, forecasts, projections and assumptions. These forward looking statements are identified by their use of terms and phrases such as "anticipate", "believe", "could", "estimate", "expect", "goals", "intend", "may", "objectives", "outlook", "plan", "probably", "project", "risks", "seek", "should", "target", "will" and similar terms and phrases. There are a number of factors that could affect the future operations of Shell and the Shell Group and could cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward looking statements included in this announcement, including (without limitation): (a) price fluctuations in crude oil and natural gas; (b) changes in demand for Shell's products; (c) currency fluctuations; (d) drilling and production results; (e) reserves estimates; (f) loss of market share and industry competition; (g) environmental and physical risks; (h) risks associated with the identification of suitable potential acquisition properties and targets, and successful negotiation and completion of such transactions; (i) the risk of doing business in developing countries and countries subject to international sanctions; (j) legislative, fiscal and regulatory developments including regulatory measures addressing climate change; (k) economic and financial market conditions in various countries and regions; (l) political risks, including the risks of expropriation and renegotiation of the terms of contracts with governmental entities, delays or advancements in the approval of projects and delays in the reimbursement for shared costs; and (m) changes in trading conditions. All forward looking statements contained in this announcement are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained or referred to in this section. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward looking statements. Additional factors that may affect future results are contained in Shell's 20-F for the year ended 31 December 2012 (available at www.shell.com/investor and www.sec.gov ). These factors also should be considered by the reader.  Each forward looking statement speaks only as of the date of this announcement, October 11, 2013. Neither Shell nor any of its subsidiaries nor the Shell Group undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward looking statement as a result of new information, future events or other information. In light of these risks, results could differ materially from those stated, implied or inferred from the forward looking statements contained in this announcement.