Shell shuts Utorogu gas plant following pipeline leakage


25 August, 2011, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd said it had shutdown its Utorogu gas plant in Delta State following a leak on the pipeline that evacuates condensates from the plant.

“The leak was confirmed yesterday (August 24) and a joint investigation visit is planned to determine the cause. As condensate is produced along with gas, the plant cannot continue to operate now that the line is out of service,” Shell said.

The development has thrown Lagos State into almost complete darkness as electricity supply to the state, which hovers around 700 megawatts under normal situation, dropped drastically last night, while Abeokuta was also adversely affected.

The Utorogun Gas Plant located in Ughelli, Delta State, and Chevron’s Escravos Gas Plant are the main sources of gas supply to the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which supplies gas to the PHCN’s gas-fired plants across the country.

The gas plant, which is a joint venture between Shell, NNPC, Total and Eni SpA (Agip), also supplies gas to industrial users.

There was sharp drop in gas supply to Egbin Power Station, the biggest power-generating station in the country. Before the latest incident, Egbin was generating 1,080 megawatts of electricity.

Indeed, Shell said it regreted the shortfall in gas supply for electricity generation and is working to repair the line and resume gas production as soon as possible” Shell said.

NNPC had facilitated the maximisation of gas production from the NNPC/ Chevron JV facility. Under the arrangement, Chevron increased its gas production from 180 million standard cubic feet per day to 200mscf/d while gas production at the Pan Ocean Oil Corporation Nigeria Limited facility surged to 65mscf/d.

Power generation had hovered around 3,500mw, before it peaked at 3,800mw following ongoing rehabilitation of some existing power plants. The Utorogu plant, which produces around 300 million scf/d of gas, is a major supplier of natural gas to three Nigerian power plants located around the Niger Delta region.

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