Prior to the incident, SPDC had shut down the 28” TNP to remove crude theft connections, and has now closed the 24” TNP as a precautionary response to the fire. This means that the entire TNP system, comprising the 28” and 24” pipelines have been shut-in. The 24” TNP will be reopened when it is safe to do so, while the 28” TNP will remain shut-in until the fire has been extinguished, and investigation and damage assessment completed.
Some 150,000 barrels of oil per day is deferred from the closure of TNP.
“This is another sad reminder of the tragic consequences of crude oil theft,” said SPDC Managing Director and Country Chair Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mutiu Sunmonu. “Unknown persons continued to reconnect illegal bunkering hoses at Bodo West even as our pipeline team were removing crude theft points. It was therefore not surprising that the fire occurred from the continuing illegal bunkering even as a previous crude oil theft point was being repaired by the team. So far, there is practically no spill from this event as the oil is burning off. What is visible in the water is from an earlier oil spill which was also as a result of oil theft.
“The explosion also triggered a fire on a nearby barge. Crude theft continues to pose significant challenges to people, the environment and the local and national economy, and all stakeholders must work together to stop this criminal activity.”