SPDC raises alarm over increased crude oil theft
Oct 11, 2013
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%.