Shell shuts Trans Niger Pipeline after leak

Mutiu Sunmonu, Shell MD12 July 2013, Lagos – The Royal Dutch Shell says it has been forced to shut its Trans Niger Pipeline again after just eight days following a fresh leak on the 24-inch line.

The Anglo-Dutch supermajor said that it had a confirmed leak on the line at the Bomu- Bonny section at Owokiri.

“With the 28-inch TNP already shut in for removal of illegal oil theft connections, a total of about 150,000 barrels per day of oil have been deferred,” the company said.

The explorer said the cause and size of the spill were “unclear at the moment”, but pointed to how the pipeline “has been variously targeted by crude oil thieves in recent months and shut down several times to enable the removal of theft points”.

The closed line is part of a broader pipeline route designed to take 180,000 barrels of oil a day through the Niger Delta to the Bonny Island terminal.

It has notified relevant authorities and mobilised inspection, repair and cleanup teams.

The TNP was shut down late last month following an explosion and fire at a point that had been targeted by oil thieves at Bodo West in the Niger Delta’s Ogoniland.

Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary Shell Petroleum Development Company said it reopened the TNP 24-inch pipeline last week after it had repaired the point where crude oil theft led to an explosion and removed six crude oil connections where thieves had tapped in.

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