Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
Nigeria’s oil exports have suffered another setbacks as Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company has again shut down its 150,000 barrels per day- capacity, Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) less than 24 hours after reopening the facility.
The company said yesterday that after repairs of identified leak points occasioned by activities of oil thieves, two new leak points were reported along the same line near the Awoba Riser Manifold.
“Our emergency response process was immediately activated, and containment boom deployed to limit oil spread on bodies of water whilst efforts to identify cause of the incident/repair have been initiated.
“Consequently, all injectors have been advised in accordance with NCTL shutdown procedure to shut-in production into the NCTL immediately. Appropriate Oil Leakage/Spillage Notification Report will follow shortly to DPR/NOSDRA” the company said in a statement issued by its spokesman, Mr. Matthew Indiana.
Hours before the latest incident, the indigenous oil giant, had restated its commitment to its host community after a section of the Nembe Community, Bayelsa State converged, without prior notice, and barricaded the entrance to the company’s logistics base.
Ndiana said the incident interrupted normal work operations even after the intervention of the state’s security task force.
He said that following a protracted engagement with them, they agreed to disband, while leaving behind representatives to present their demands to the company.
“These disturbances disrupt our operations and lead to production deferment, which affects not just the company but revenues accruing to the government and people of Nigeria.
“Aiteo reiterates her commitment to continuing to work with her host communities to achieve an amicable relationship. Moreover, the Nembe community provides most of the supply, logistics and security contracts going into our local operations.
“Apart from encouraging community participation in this manner, the company has, in addition, continued to provide considerable amenities and services directly to the community in a most beneficial and impactful way.
“Hence, we remain open and are committed to constructive dialogue for the development of both the nation and the community” the company added.
Aiteo reiterated that it takes several layers of engagement to get key deliverables to the community as the asset is operated under a joint venture with NNPC, noting that key decisions must be made upon due consultation with all stakeholders.
“We appeal to our host communities, our partners in development, to patiently await the final outcome of ongoing processes initiated to implement sustainable development for all parties” the company added.
The Aiteo-operated NCTL and the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) are the two major pipelines used by oil companies operating in the eastern Niger Delta to evacuate crude oil to export terminals.
Aiteo had shut down the NCTL located around Oil Mining Lease (OML) 29 on April 21, following a fire outbreak, and Shell declared force majeure on exports on Bonny Light grade of crude oil on April 25 due to the closure of the pipeline.
The pipeline was reopened on Friday before the latest incident occurred