Shell shuts production in Nigeria after pipeline sabotage

22 August, 2011, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The Shell Petroleum Development Company said it has been forced to shut down two of its flow stations following sabotage of its pipeline in Bayelsa State by unknown persons.

Shell said in a stament that it recorded six separate oil spill incidents on the Okordia – Rumuekpe trunk line at Ikarama in Bayelsa State, between August 2 and 15 this year.

It added that the 33-km line received crude oil from two flowstations, and that the flowstations had to be shut down to allow for repairs.

It would be recalled that there was fire outbreak on the pipeline last Friday, following an oil spill from leaks from the pipeline.

Shell said it had previously repaired the same pipeline that was sabotaged on August 15.
“The fire has burnt out, and an SPDC team was able to repair the last of the leak points on August 20, after about 100 community women initially blocked access to the spill site,” Shell said.

Tony Attah, Vice President, HSE and Corporate Affairs, Shell Sub-Saharan Africa said the oil firm was concerned by the increasing cases of sabotage at Ikarama and appealed to those causing these incidents to stop for the sake of the environment, their personal safety and wellbeing of the communities.

“Thankfully, the fire was contained within the right-of-way of the trunkline and no buildings of any sort were burnt, contrary to the impression given in some media reports.”

Attah added: “We thank the Bayelsa State Government and well meaning community members for their assistance in securing access to the spill sites for investigation of the cause and repairs. While we continue to respond as quickly as possible to incidents, our task is made more difficult if people continue to carry out sabotage attacks causing spills.”

Shell said that more than 75% of all oil spill incidents and more than 70% of oil spilled from the SPDC JV facilities in the Niger delta over the last five years (2006-2010) were caused by sabotage and crude theft activities.

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