The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd Joint Venture (SPDC) has commenced the repair of Nembe Creek Trunkline (NCTL) after shutting it down on 2 May because of incessant crude theft activities.
In a press statement, signed by Tony Okonedo, Shell’s Corporate Media Relations Manager, the SPDC said on 13 May, its pipeline repair team disconnected two six-inch lines through which thieves were stealing crude from the 97-kilometre line.
The team will tackle eight other illegal bunkering points as it continues to re-assert the integrity of the facility, which was commissioned in 2010 at a cost of US$1.1 billion to replace an older pipeline.
“This is a difficult work requiring careful planning and digging up several sections of the line in swamp and land, investigating illegal bunkering points and deciding whether to clamp them or do sectional replacement,” said Tony Attah, Vice President, Health, Safety and Environment, Shell Sub-Saharan Africa. “When you add the cost of repairs to the facility downtime and loss of revenue, it becomes clear how crude theft has denied Nigeria of badly-needed revenue.”
In December last year, the NCTL was shut down for one month to repair leaks caused by crude thieves. The latest shutdown has led to the declaration of force majeure on export of Bonny Light.
Mr. Attah added: “The Trans Niger Pipeline has also been suffering from crude theft leading to frequent shutdowns for repairs and integrity checks. Clearly, we are concerned by these increasing cases and appeal for concerted efforts to stop the crime for the sake of the environment, the Nigerian state and the communities themselves.”