Lagos - Oil giant Shell has temporarily shut down a key oil pipeline in southern Nigeria to repair damage caused by oil thieves.
The company in a statement said the repairs will lead to a cut of around 150,000 barrels per day.
According to the statement, the Nembe Creek Trunkline will be closed for an undisclosed period.
“The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) shut down the Nembe Creek Trunkline (NCTL) to remove crude oil theft connections and investigate suspected oil theft leaks,” the statement said.
“Production of some 150,000 barrels of oil per day has been deferred due to the shutdown. As a result, SPDC has declared force majeure on Bonny Light export,” the statement added.
The 97-kilometre (60 miles) NCTL pipeline has been closed several times as a result of crude oil theft leaks and fires between December 2011 and May 2012.
The pipeline was shut down for 10 days last month following a major leak of Bonny Light crude, one of the main grades of crude oil produced in Nigeria.
“We’re concerned that the NCTL has been targeted by crude oil thieves repeatedly since we installed the new line in 2010 at a cost of $1.1 billion,” said the managing director of SPDC Mutiu Sunmonu in the statement.
“The current exercise aims to remove a significant number of oil theft connections and repair any leaks on the pipeline,” he said.
“Crude theft continues to affect people, the environment and the economy, and urgent action is needed by all stakeholders to tackle the problem,” Sunmonu said.
- CAJ News