By MICHAEL EBOH with Agency Report
Nigeria crude oil output, yesterday, rose by 150,000 barrels per day as Shell Nigeria said it has reopened its Trans Niger Pipeline, TNP, after about two months of closure.
The re-opening is also expected to boost the country’s power supply by about 624 MW, as the company’s Afam VI power was also shut down due to inadequate gas supply arising from the closure of the pipeline.
A spokesperson for Shell said the pipeline was re-opened, September 8, adding, however, that the force majeure declared in April on benchmark Bonny Light crude oil grade remained in place.
Shell had shut the TNP in July following a leak on the Bomu-Bonny section at Owokiri, which was found to be caused by a six-inch crude theft valve placed on the line.
The shut-down came just days after Shell had re-opened the line following an explosion and fire in June at a point that had been targeted by oil thieves at Bodo West in the Niger Delta’s Ogoniland.
The Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, stated in July that it estimated the total daily loss from the TNP shutdown to be roughly $15 million.
The closure of the line also hit Nigeria’s domestic power generation, with SPDC being forced to shut down the Afam VI power plant due to a shortage of gas arising from the closure of the pipeline.
Shell, had in a statement signed by Mr. Tony Okonedo, Corporate Media Relations Manager, said the shut-down of the TNP system, comprising the 28-inch and 24-inch streams resulted in the deferment of 150,000 barrels of oil per day, and also led to non-evacuation of condensate from Okoloma Gas Plant which supplies Afam VI Power Plant with feed gas.
Okonedo expressed concern about the negative impact of incessant crude theft activities on lives and environment in the Niger Delta, and also the shortage of electricity to businesses and households across the country.
He said: “SPDC had to shut down Okoloma Gas Plant, as it could not continue to produce gas without the evacuation of condensate. Afam VI Power Plant was available at 624MW capacity, but supplying only 105MW to the national grid due to reduced gas volume at the time of shut-down.
“The latest leak on the TNP occurred on the 24inch stream at Owokiri on 11 July. A Joint Investigation Visit comprising government agencies, community and civil society representatives and SPDC personnel found that unknown persons had installed a six-inch crude theft valve on the facility.
“SPDC repaired that leak, and is working to remove other crude theft points that were discovered in the process.
“The 28-inch TNP had earlier been shut in for removal of similar oil theft connections. The company is striving to repair the TNP as quickly as possible, and restore operations that will enable power generation to resume at Afam VI.”