Shell shuts key Nigeria pipeline due to oil leak

Feb 27, 2014
A view of oil giant Shell's oil and gas terminal on Bonny Island in southern Nigeria's Niger Delta on May 18, 2005

Shell has shut a key oil pipeline in southern Nigeria to stop a leak caused by oil theft and sabotage, a spokesman said on Thursday, without disclosing the volume of output loss.

"We closed the Nembe Creek Trunkline on Sunday for the removal of crude theft points," spokesman Precious Okolobo told AFP.

Shell has deployed engineers to repair the pipeline in the Niger Delta region, which feeds the Bonny exports terminal and would reopen "as soon as repair works are completed", he added.

Oil majors do not usually give information on production losses.

Local media in Nigeria estimated that about 95,000 barrels of crude per day might have been shut in as a result of the closure.

Nigeria is Africa's largest producer, accounting for more than two million barrels per day.

Crude theft or "bunkering" is a major problem in Nigeria, with estimates that the country loses some $6 billion in revenue per year as a result.

Such theft can involve thieves tapping pipelines to syphon crude for sale on the lucrative black market. It can lead to explosions, fires and oil pollution.

The Nembe pipeline has been hit repeatedly by sabotage and theft.

While Shell blames most of the spills on sabotage, activists argue that the company does not do enough to prevent such incidents and effectively clean up the damage when they do occur.

Explore further: Far more displaced by disasters than conflict

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Nigeria oil spill caused by sabotage, ENI says

Jul 08, 2012

Italian oil giant ENI said Sunday that "an act of sabotage" has caused a spill at one of its pipelines in Nigeria's Bayelsa state, as local leaders condemned the company for not reacting swiftly.

Shell deploys ships to clean oil spill off Nigeria

Dec 22, 2011

Shell is deploying ships and mobilising planes on Thursday to clean up an oil spill at a major field off Nigeria, the company says, with some 40,000 barrels estimated to have leaked into the sea.

Recommended for you

Far more displaced by disasters than conflict

2 hours ago

Disasters last year displaced three times more people than violent conflicts, showing the urgent need to improve resilience for vulnerable people when fighting climate change, according to a study issued ...

Coral growth rate plummets in 30-year comparison

9 hours ago

A team of researchers working on a Carnegie expedition in Australia's Great Barrier Reef has documented that coral growth rates have plummeted 40% since the mid-1970s. The scientists suggest that ocean acidification ...

Environmentalists and industry duke it out over plastic bags

11 hours ago

Campaigns against disposable plastic shopping bags and their environmental impact recently scored a major win. In August, California lawmakers passed the first statewide ban on the bags, and Governor Jerry Brown is expected ...

User comments : 0