The nation’s crude oil exports have suffered another setback as Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited has shut down production following the discovery of leaks on a pipeline in Delta State.
The SPDC said on Friday that it confirmed four leak points on its 24” Trans-Ramos Pipeline in the swamps of western Niger Delta.
The pipeline, which supplies crude oil to the Forcados export terminal, has a capacity of around 100,000 barrels per day.
According to a statement by a Shell’s spokesperson on Friday, as soon as the leaks were noticed on April 24, the SPDC immediately shut down production, deployed containment booms and mobilised its oil spill response teams to clean the sites.
It said, “These measures, which are according to the SPDC’s standard operating procedures, successfully stopped and contained the spill.
“In line with Nigerian oil and gas industry regulations, a joint investigation visit team comprising security and regulatory agencies as well as community representatives and the SPDC personnel was constituted and deployed in the sites.”
The company said the JIV team confirmed four leak points on the pipeline and identified the impacted areas in Odimodi community, Delta State.
According to the statement, the cause of the leaks is yet to be determined and the SPDC is working on further site preparation and mobilisation of specialised equipment to the swamps for safe excavation of the pipeline for inspection.
“The JIV team is expected to return to the sites as soon as possible to complete the investigation process,” it added.
The shutdown of the Trans-Ramos pipeline followed the declaration of force majeure by the oil major on exports of Bonny Light crude, one of the country’s major sources of oil revenue, last week.
Force majeure is a legal clause that allows companies to cancel or delay deliveries due to unforeseen circumstances.
The SPDC said the shutdown of the Nembe Creek Trunk Line had prompted the force majeure.
Exports of Bonny Light crude are expected to run at around 195,000 bpd next month, according to Reuters.
Prior to the declaration of force majeure on Bonny Light exports, the nation’s crude shipments were already witnessing delays following a leak on the 200,000 to 240,000 bpd Trans-Forcados pipeline that shut down earlier this month, effectively cutting deliveries of Forcados, one of the nation’s largest crude grades.