BY MICHAEL EBOH
Nigeria’s crude output and oil revenue is set to increase by 150,000 barrels per day and $16.05 million, about N2.568 billion daily, as Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, SPDC, yesterday, reopened a section of its Trans Niger Pipeline, TNP, gutted by fire three days ago.
According to a statement by Mr. Precious Okolobo, spokesperson for Shell, the reopening was as a result of the completion of repair works on the 28-inch line of the TNP, following the earlier reported fire at Patrick Waterside in Bodo, which a joint investigation team has confirmed was due to a hacksaw cut by unknown persons.
He, however, stated that while the 28-inch line which was shut on October 14, has been reopened, the 24-inch line which was shut on October 9 following leaks at B-Dere and Nonwa-Tai, remains closed.
He also noted that the force majeure that was declared on Bonny Light exports on October 9 will be lifted as soon as possible.
He said: “While investigations showed that unknown persons had drilled a hole on the 24-inch TNP at B-Dere, the joint investigation on the Nonwa-Tai spill is continuing and expected to be concluded soon.
“However, preliminary findings indicate that the spill may have been caused by a failure on the pipeline. SPDC had quickly mobilised its oil spill response team to the site and contained the spread of spilled oil.
“Further remedial measures, clean-up and repairs are continuing. SPDC regrets this operational spill and is investigating the root cause of the failure.
“SPDC will continue to monitor the situation and the force majeure that was declared on Bonny Light exports on October 9 will be lifted as soon as it is operationally possible to do so.”
Shell, had on Monday, shut down a section of its Trans Niger Pipeline, TNP, due to a fire outbreak along the pipeline’s right of way.
In a statement announcing the closure, Shell said, “The entire TNP system, comprising the 24-inch line and 28 inch line had been closed on October 9 as a precautionary response to the spills, but the 28” TNP was reopened after investigations established that the leaks were on the 24 inch line only.
“However, the 28-inch TNP has now been shut in again due to the fire at Patrick Waterside. The fire has now gone out but the 28-inch will remain closed until checks are carried out. “This means that the entire TNP is shut-in, resulting in production of 150,000 barrels of oil per day being deferred. The force majeure on Bonny Light exports remains in place.”
Shell, had a couple of days ago announced plans to sell off its Nembe Creek Trunk Line in the Niger Delta region.
The company, along with its joint venture partner, is also planning to sell off four more oil blocks — Oil licenses 18, 24, 25 and 29.
The Nembe Creek Trunk Line, a key oil transport channel, which Shell has repeatedly shut this year after attacks by oil thieves and the four oil blocks feed the Bonny terminal, Nigeria’s oldest export facility, commissioned by Shell in 1961.
Sources close to the company, said the joint venture, which also includes Total and Eni, has sent out offer documents for the oil blocks.