4 September 2012

Nigeria: Shell Investigates Nembe Creek Pipeline Leak

Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Monday embarked on Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) to ascertain the cause of the leakage on its crude oil flow-line in Nembe Creek, Bayelsa State.

A flow line takes crude oil from an oil well to a flow-station where water and other impurities are removed from the oil.

Shell had last Thursday shut in a flow-line from Well-39s that flows to Nembe Creek-2 Flow Station, after a leak was observed on the line.

Crude oil from Nembe flow station goes to the 380,000 barrels per day capacity Bonny Export Terminal in Rivers State, which is scheduled to export about 150,000barrels per day this month.

A Shell Nigeria spokesman told THISDAY that the spill had been contained but declined to disclose whether crude oil production was affected.

"The spilled oil is contained within the flow line right-of-way and there is no impact on the environment," he said.

He further stated that the joint inspection involved representatives of the company; communities; local and state governments and the regulatory agencies.

"We have constituted a Joint Inspection Team (JIT) and we are doing the JIV (Joint Inspection Visit) today to determine the cause of the leak so that we can repair the line," he said.

The Amnesty Programme introduced for repentant militants in the Niger Delta has drastically reduced destructive attacks on oil workers and infrastructure but oil bunkering has been on increase.

Shell recently repaired the Nembe Creek Trunkline (NCTL) after shutting it down because of incessant crude theft that led to a declaration of force majeure on export of Bonny Light.

The damaged facility was commissioned in 2010 at the cost of $1.1 billion to replace an older pipeline.

NCTL was also shut down for one month in December 2011, following a spill caused by two failed bunkering connections.

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