Citing the danger of continuous sabotage to people and environment, and attendant loss of revenue, Shell Nigeria has called for stakeholders' support to curb the incessant vandalism of crude oil pipelines.
According to the oil major, 90 per cent of pipeline leaks are attributable to illegal activities, noting that sabotage spill rate has risen steeply and crude oil theft from SPDC JV's pipeline network averaged 11,000 barrels per day in 2018
The General Manager, External Relations of the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Igo Weli, said such efforts to curb pipeline sabotage will save lives, secure communities and protect the environment.
Weli, who spoke in Lagos, yesterday, at a Media Workshop on Pipelines Right of Way Encroachment and Vandalism, said: "Shell is concerned the repeated sabotage of recently repaired pipelines exposes the environment and people to renewed and worsening pollution. Oil theft is focused on short term fiscal benefits, ignoring the long-term effects of environmental degradation.
"Since 2017, sabotage spill rate has risen steeply and crude oil theft from SPDC JV's pipeline network averaged 11,000 barrels per day in 2018, an increase of about 20% over previous year. The number of sabotage-related spills increased in 2018 to 111 compared to 62 in 2017, and, since 2012, SPDC has removed more than 1,160 illegal theft points."
Also speaking, Shell's General Manager, Safety and Environment, Chidube Nnene-Anochie, said irrespective of the cause, SPDC cleans and remediates areas impacted by spills from its facilities."
According to Nnene-Anochie, "SPDC implements work programmes to appraise condition of, maintain and replace key sections of pipelines and flowlines. In 2018, for example, we installed 70 kilometres of pipelines, and 188 kilometres of flowlines. Over the last seven years, SPDC has replaced approximately 1,300 kilometres distance of flow lines and pipelines."
She added, "In line with industry regulations, SPDC only pays compensation if the spill is operational."
Towards the UNEP Report-guided Ogoni Clean Up, Weli said, "SPDC actively supports the clean-up process along with other stakeholders. SPDC remains fully committed to providing its share of $900 million (N283.73 billion) over five years to the Ogoni Trust Fund as stipulated in the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) gazette, and the agreed governance framework.
"The SPDC JV has completed its first-year contribution of $180 million (N54.54 billion). Early 2017, the SPDC JV made available $10 million to help set up HYPREP office and in July 2018, joint venture deposited additional $170 million (N51.52 billion) into an escrow account to fund HYPREP's activities."
Shell said it is also collaborating with communities to effectively patrol pipelines' rights-of-way through direct surveillance and GMoU surveillance, proactively engaging government security agencies to prevent crude theft and vandalism. Also, it carries out awareness campaigns to educate community members, surveillance contractors and general public of the requirements of the 1990 Pipeline Act which prohibits any third-party activities 100ft from existing oil and gas right-of-way.