New Militant Group Breaches NPDC/Shoreline Trunk Line in Delta

  • Shell declares force majeure on gas supply to Nigeria LNG

Ejiofor Alike in Lagos and 
Sylvester Idowu in Warri

There seems to be no solution in sight to the crisis in the Niger Delta region as a new militant group, the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDGJM), wednesday claimed that it has breached a major trunk/delivery pipeline to the Eriemu manifold in Urhoboland belonging to Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) and Shoreline Resources.

The militant group, which claimed to be agitating for the people of upland-the host communities to oil facilities-said they had been left out of previous negotiations between the federal government and riverine communities which host the same facilities in the past.

The group had announced its emergence last Tuesday with 48 hours ultimatum to all the oil multinationals still in the upland of the region-Agip, Total, SHELL, Mobil, Shorelines, NECONDE, E.D Western, SEPLAT and others to evacuate their personnel from the region, especially in the Ogba/Egi axis of Rivers State, Urhobo/Isoko/Ndokwa axis of Delta State and other upland oil producing areas.

It also threatened to blow up Warri and Port Harcourt refineries as well as Utorogun gas plants in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State.

To establish its seriousness, the militant group claimed that it brought down a major trunk/delivery line from Isoko to Eriemo manifold in Urhobo at about 2 p.m.

“As a mark of our seriousness and to prove we are people of our words, at about 0200hours of August 10, 2016, operatives of the NDGJM brought down a major trunk/delivery line from Isoko to the Eriemu Manifold in Urhobo land, belonging to the NPDC/Shoreline Resources,” it claimed.
In a statement titled: ‘Operation Zero’ and signed by its spokesperson, Aldo Agbalaja, the group said: “One is down and countless more to go.

“The Central Operations Command of the NDGJM hereby announces the commencement of demolition and evacuation of the uplands tagged: ‘Operation zero’ to correct the wrongs that have afflicted our people for years, seek justice for the perpetually cheated and protect the identities of our people who are co-owners of the wealth which Nigeria has forever misappropriated,” it added.

The group warned operatives of the asset in NPDC/Shorelines not to effect any repairs on the breached trunk line until signals are given or else their personnel will be exposed to dangers.
“We would also want to use this medium to give a very strong warning to the operatives of the asset NPDC/Shorelines not to commence repairs pending when they get signals from us otherwise the inevitable may occur to their personnel as we have earlier warned them to begin evacuating the uplands,” it The group noted that the attack was just a glimpse of what would happen to other facilities penned down for destruction.

It declared: “This is just a glimpse of what is to come, there are several assets already penned down for destruction. This line of action has been made inevitable by an unjust system, which only responds to the violence, to the detriment of the peaceful and law abiding people.”
Media Manager of NPDC, Mr. Ugo Atugboko, did not respond to THISDAY’s enquiries about the incident last night.

He retorted that: “How do you expect me to know. This is night time, so how will I know. Maybe you should come over to the office tomorrow (today) and confirm.”

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s efforts to monetise her gas resources through exports have suffered setbacks as Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has declared force majeure on supply of gas to the Bonny Island plant of the Nigeria LNG Limited.

The 22 million tonne-capacity Nigeria LNG, which accounts for about eight per cent of the global LNG supplies, has long-term supply contracts with long term buyers.

The company, which buys gas from upstream companies such as Shell, Total, Mobil, Agip and Nigerian independents, also sells its liquefied natural gas on the spot market.

But a Shell spokesman, Mr. Precious Okolobo, confirmed yesterday that the company has declared force majeure on the export facility on Bonny Island following a leak on the company’s Eastern Gas Gathering System Phase 1 (EGGS-1).

The statement did not disclose the cause of the leak but added that a joint investigation would ascertain the cause of the incident.

“The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) declared force majeure on gas supply to NLNG on 8 August 8, 2016, following a leak on the Eastern Gas Gathering System (EGGS-1) pipeline through which it supplies the bulk of its gas to NLNG,” Okolobo said in the statement earlier released by the company’s spokeswoman in London, Natasha Obank.

“The pipeline has been shut down for a joint investigation visit into the cause of the leak and repairs,” the spokesman said, adding that SPDC continues to supply gas to the facility through other pipelines,” Okolobo added.

A source at NLNG however told THISDAY that the shutdown of the EGGS-1 pipeline would not stop exports of LNG as gas could be supplied to the plant through alternative routes.
But THISDAY gathered that exports would be impacted while the company rescheduled some shipments to customers.

NLNG produces 22 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of LNG from its six-train plant and also manages 16 long term LNG Sales Purchase Agreements (SPAs) executed with 11 buyers on a Delivered Ex-Ship (DES) basis.

Some of these buyers include Spain’s Repsol, Italy’s Enel, Britain’s BG Group, France’s GDF Suez, Portugal’s Galp, Turkey’s BOTAS, Gas Natural of Spain, BG LNG, Endesa, ENI, Iberdrola, Shell Western LNG BV and Total Gas & Power Ltd.

According to the company, the long term LNG buyers take delivery of their volumes in receiving facilities spread across the Atlantic Basin in countries such as Spain, France, Portugal and Italy in Europe, as well asTurkey, Mexico and the United States.

The company, which ships an average of one cargo daily, has also delivered cargoes in recent times to the Far East, Middle East, South America and the United Kingdom through existing customers and via spot Master FOB agreements with several companies.

Gas volumes have also gone as far as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, India, Kuwait, Brazil and Wales, thus positioning the company as a global player in the gas market.