Bonga oil leak
By Ejiofor Alike
As Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) battles to ensure complete clean-up of the oil spill from the Bonga deepwater field, its sister company, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), has shut down the Nembe Creek Trunkline (NCTL) following a fresh oil leak.
The NCTL in Bayelsa State serves to evacuate a majority of the crude oil produced by SPDC and third party in the Eastern Swamp operations to Bonny Export Terminal.
SPDC has also confirmed that the leak on the 90-kilometre line, which resulted in the shut-in of some producing flow stations, affected the production of 70,000 barrels of oil per day.
Shell’s Corporate Media Relations Manager, Mr. Tony Okonedo, said in a statement yesterday that the company was mobilising to repair the NCTL after crude theft leaks forced the company to shut it down.
“A joint investigation conducted by DPR, the Bayelsa State Ministry of Environment, SPDC and the community showed oil thieves had installed valves at two points near the Tora manifold in Nembe in Bayelsa State. More than 200 barrels of spilled oil have been recovered,” he said.
Shell’s Vice-President for Health, Safety and Environment (HSE), as well as Corporate Affairs, for Sub-Saharan Africa, Mr.Tony Attah, said the leak was caused by crude oil thieves.
“What is really worrying about this leak is that it happened on a facility which was commissioned in October 2009 to replace an old line which was repeatedly targeted by crude oil thieves. Sadly, the crude thieves continue to hinder efforts to maintain the integrity of key national oil and gas assets,” he said.
He confirmed that the company was working to complete the repair of the line before the end of this month.
Nigeria’s crude oil export recently suffered a setback when Shell shut down the 200,000 barrels per day Bonga field over oil leak.
Shell said the leak that occurred on Tuesday, December 20, happened during a routine operation to transfer crude oil from Bonga’s floating production, storage and off-loading (FPSO) vessel to a waiting oil tanker.
Some communities living along the coastal areas in the Western Niger Delta have alleged that the spill has hit the coastline.
But Shell has stated that the oil is not from Bonga, which is located 120 kilometres offshore, but from a third party spill.