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SPDC Joint Venture Replaces Major Pipeline

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) joint venture is close to completing the construction of a major $1.1-billion oil pipeline in the Niger Delta as part of the ongoing programme to keep its facilities well maintained. The new 97-kilometre Nembe Creek Trunkline will have a capacity to transport 600,000 barrels per day from 14 flowstations in the Niger Delta to the Bonny export terminal in Rivers State. With half of the line so far commissioned, it is taking the place of an existing pipeline scheduled for replacement.

It is currently the largest single project under the SPDC JV’s ongoing asset integrity programme that has replaced more than 1,000 kilometres of major pipelines and flowlines in the last five years. Some 318 kilometres was replaced last year alone. The shareholders of the joint venture are the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (55%), SPDC Ltd (30%), Total E&P Nigeria Limited (10%) and the Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited (5%).

The joint venture’s integrity programme ensures that all its facilities and equipment, including wellheads, pipelines and flowlines, flowstations, terminals and gas plants, are regularly monitored, maintained, equipment replaced where needed, and that staff are trained.

Managing Director of SPDC Mutiu Sunmonu said: “We strive to maintain our facilities to the highest standards. It is simply a good, responsible business approach that not only protects the environment and helps our community relations but also maximises our production capability.

“Of course, the continued high incidence of sabotage and theft makes the job more difficult on top of the normal maintenance requirements of our operations. It is important to understand that projects such as these will have only a limited impact on oil spills until the widespread oil theft, sabotage and vandalism activities are stopped.” Sabotage and theft accounted for 98% of oil spilled from SPDC JV facilities in 2009.