Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) says a fire has forced it to close a key oil pipeline feeding Nigeria’s strategic Bonny Export Terminal, which militants attacked last week.
The ongoing challenges are losing oil multinationals billions of dollars in what used to be Africa’s biggest petroleum producer.
SBM Intelligence risk analysts estimate that renewed militant attacks, low oil prices and weak refinery margins have cost Dutch-British Shell and United States-based Chevron and ExxonMobil $7.1 billion in the first half of the year, representing about 70 per cent of earnings.
Shell spokesman Precious Okolobo says the Trans Niger Pipeline was shut down Monday to investigate a fire.
Shell has refused to comment on reports that militants bombed its Bonny crude pipeline Friday, crippling exports days after they resumed following months of repairs from a May bomb attack.
In August, following the discovery of a leak on its pipeline, Shell declared force majeure on gas supply to the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas’ (NLNG) export facility on Bonny Island.
The company’s spokeswoman, Natasha Obank, in a statement said: “The pipeline has been shut down for a joint investigation visit into the cause of the leak and repairs.”
The leak occurred on the Eastern Gas Gathering System, or EGGS-1, pipeline which supplies the bulk of Shell’s gas to the Nigeria LNG plant on Bonny Island.
However, Some supply continues through other pipelines, Shell said.
Before then, in July, suspected Niger Delta militants have struck Shell facilities.
They blew up a crude oil trunkline belonging to Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) in Batan community, Warri south west council area of Delta State.
A community leader in the community, Dickson Ogugu, confirmed the attack. It happened around 1am on Monday, he said
He lamented the effect of such attacks in the region and appealed to the militants to sheathe their swords and embrace dialogue.
He recalled that earlier in the month, militants destroyed an oil facility in Batan.
No group has claimed responsibility for the latest incident, as the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), the group at the heart of recent attacks on oil assets, has not made any comment regarding the attack.
The site of the attack has been cordoned off by security personnel