Shell shuts 180,000-bpd oil pipeline, exports threatened


The nation’s crude oil exports have suffered another setback with the shutdown of the Trans Niger Pipeline, which carries Bonny Light crude, as a precautionary measure after a fire was seen, a spokesman for Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited said on Monday.

The 28-inch TNP, which is operated by the SPDC, was also shut in early June before it was later reopened.

The TNP transports around 180,000 barrels of crude oil per day to the Bonny Export Terminal and is part of the gas liquids evacuation infrastructure, critical for continued domestic power generation (especially at the Afam VI power plant) and liquefied gas exports, Shell said on its website.

It was not clear whether export supplies would be subject to force majeure.

Reuters quoted the SPDC spokesman to have said that a fire was spotted on the “right of way” on the Trans Niger Pipeline at Gio in Ogoniland, one of two pipelines that export Bonny Light crude oil.

The line is also the right of way for a Bonny refinery pipeline belonging to the Petroleum Products Marketing Company, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

“A joint investigation visit will determine the cause and impact of the fire,” the Shell spokesman said.

Bonny Light crude is also exported via the Nembe Creek Trunk Line.

On Saturday, the Niger Delta Avengers, a group that has claimed responsibility for a string of attacks on Nigerian oil infrastructure this year, said it had struck a Bonny Light pipeline, ending several weeks of calm under a ceasefire with the government.

A spokesman for the militants said in an emailed statement that the attack on Saturday was in the sea near Bonny Island, making it unclear whether the incidents were related.

Source: Punch