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SPDC Joint Venture Raises Alarm on Increase in Sabotage Spills in Bonny Area

The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) of Nigeria-operated Joint Venture has raised an alarm over a recent increase in sabotage attacks on its pipelines around Bonny in Rivers State. It further called for efforts by all stakeholders to help stop the unhealthy trend.

Between August 1 and 12 this year alone, SPDC recorded three separate sabotage incidents on its Cawthorne Channel – Bonny and Alakiri – Bonny pipelines, where suspected crude thieves drilled holes or inflicted hacksaw cuts to siphon oil.

Shell’s Vice President for Health, Safety and Environment and Infrastructure and Logistics in Africa, Babs Omotowa said: “Each incident was thoroughly investigated by a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) comprising government agencies, regulators, SPDC and community representatives which confirmed the cause as sabotage. In the latest incident, the investigating team discovered three hacksaw cuts on the Cawthorne Channel – Bonny pipeline. We have informed the relevant authorities of the incidents.”

Responding to the most recent incident reported on August 12, SPDC immediately mobilised its oil response team and deployed containment booms to prevent further spread of crude oil into the environment. It followed up by enlisting the support of Clean Nigeria Associates, an industry body which facilitates containment and clean up of spills.

The JIT is currently in affected areas undertaking oil spill mapping work.

Mr. Omotowa added: “The environmental and social cost of widespread sabotage is simply unacceptable. Last year, 98% of the oil spilled from SPDC operations was caused by sabotage. It is our policy to clean up spills regardless of the cause. While we continue to contain and recover oil spilled from the Cawthorne Channel – Bonny pipeline and other facilities, our task is made more difficult if people insist on carrying out sabotage attacks and causing spills.”

Meanwhile, SPDC is working to carry out repair of the Cawthorne Channel – Bonny pipeline, as soon as the JIT completes its task.

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