17 April 2013, Lagos – The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd, SPDC, shut the Nembe Creek Trunkline, NCTL, on Monday to remove crude oil theft connections and investigate suspected oil theft leaks, a statement by the company, said, Wednesday.
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.
“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 Managing Director of SPDC & Country Chair, Shell Nigeria, Mutiu Sunmonu.
“The current exercise aims to remove a significant number of oil theft connections and repair any leaks on the pipeline. We recognise efforts by the security forces to contain the crime, and SPDC will work with them during the shutdown to clear illegal connections on the NCTL,” he added.
The 97-kilometre NCTL has been closed several times as a result of crude oil theft leaks and fires between December 2011 and May 2012.
Mr. Sunmonu further said: “Crude theft continues to affect people, the environment and the economy, and urgent action is needed by all stakeholders to tackle the problem.”