07 March 2013, Lagos – The Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, has declared force majeure on its Bonny Light crude following the shutdown of Nembe Creek Trunkline (NCTL) after a leak was observed on Sunday.
Shell said in a statement, Tuesday, that the cause ogf the leak would be determined by a Joint Investigation Visit, which will be scheduled once the leak point had been excavated.
Shell’s Corporate Media Relations Manager, Precious Okolobo explained in the statement that the company had mobilised a team to repair the line after the investigation. “Then, NCTL will reopen for operations,” he said.
Shell had earlier threate-ned to completely shut down its 150,000 barrel per day Nembe Creek oil pipe-line due to an “unprece-dented” amount of oil theft.
Between the 22nd and 25th of February, the company said 12 flow stations producing into the pipeline were shut down by safety systems three times due to oil theft.
The leak on Sunday according Shell occurred directly on the NCTL and necessitated its immediate shutdown for repairs.
The pipeline, according to Shell, was replaced in 2010 at a cost of $1.1billion.
“It is getting to the crunch that rather than allow people to continue to attack my pipeline and devastate the environ-ment, I may actually consider shutting down the pipeline completely,” Shell Nigeria MD, Mutiu Sunmonu said.
“The situation in the last few weeks is unprecedented. The volume being stolen is the highest in the last three years; over 60,000 barrels per day, bpd, from Shell alone,” he said.