By Prince Okafor
The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) as operator of SPDC Joint Venture (SPDC-JV) facilities, recorded two incidences of oil spillage in the month of January to crude oil saboteurs.
The company stated that the first was recorded on the first day of January 2018 at its 12-inch Imo River-Ogale pipeline at Uzuaku, while the second was reported on January 13, 2018, at its 28-inch Bomu-Bonny pipeline at Bodo West which happened as result of sabotage.
Shell had shut its Imo River oil pipeline on October 31, 2017, due to damage caused by thieves and deferred 25,000 barrels per day (bpd) of production, while the Trans-Niger Pipeline, TNP, which normally carries 150,000 barrels of oil per day to Bonny is utilising a pipeline network of more than 50 years old.
Bomu-Bonny pipeline within Bodo creek is a Trans-Niger trunkline running from the hinterlands through Gokana, having interconnections with the Bodo manifold ashore and Bodo West flow station in the mangrove swamp land of Bodo Creek, and link to Bonny terminal.
The company also estimated a spill volume of eight barrels of crude on the first day of the year and 25 barrels of crude on January 13, 2018.
Meanwhile, a report from the company stated that “The spill was contained on 02 January 2018, recovery completed on 06 January 2018, assessment planned for February 2018, while the later recovery planned is scheduled for February 2018.
The company noted that when spills occur from SPDC-JV facilities in the Niger-Delta, they respond as quickly as possible, no matter the cause.
The company further stated that “Oil spills due to crude oil theft and sabotage of facilities, as well as illegal refining, cause the environmental damage from oil and gas operations in the Niger-Delta. Irrespective of the cause, the SPDC JV cleans up and remediates areas affected by spills originating from its facilities.
“A key priority for Shell is to achieve the goal of no spills from its operations. No spill is acceptable and we work hard to prevent them. Regrettably, in addition to spills caused by criminal activity, there were seven operational spills of more than 100kg in volume from Shell Companies in Nigeria facilities during 2016. This number is less than the 16 spills in 2015, due to continued progress on preventing operational spills, such as regular inspections and maintenance of pipelines.”
“SPDC has publicly reported oil spill statistics annually since 1995 in the Shell sustainability report and this website further enhances transparency on spills in Nigeria from SPDC-JV facilities. It tracks the progress of our spill response from when we learn about the leak to when clean-up is completed and certified by regulators.
How SPDC respond to spills
The company further noted that, “When a leak is identified, production is suspended and efforts made to contain any spilled oil. We regularly test our emergency spill response procedures and capability to ensure staff and contractors can respond rapidly to an incident.
“In line with government regulations, a Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) team visits the spill site to establish the cause and volume of oil spilled. The team is led by the SPDC staff and includes representatives of the regulatory bodies, police, the state government and impacted communities.”
“The SPDC JV cleans and remediates the area impacted by spills from its facilities, irrespective of cause. In the case of operational spills, it also pays compensation to people and communities impacted by the spill. Once clean-up and remediation are completed, the work is inspected, and once satisfactory, approved and certified by Federal Government of Nigeria regulators – the Department of Petroleum Resources and National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency,” it added.