Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited on Monday shut the Trans Niger Pipeline, one of the two major pipelines transporting the nation’s reference crude oil grade, Bonny Light, for export.
This is coming one month after the oil major was forced to shut the pipeline, which was later reopened after repairs.
The TNP transports around 180,000 barrels of crude oil per day to the Bonny Export Terminal and is part of the gas liquids evacuation infrastructure, critical for continued domestic power generation at the Afam VI power plant, and liquefied gas exports, Shell said on its website.
The spokesperson for the SPDC, Mr. Bamidele Odugbesan, told our correspondent that the shutdown was as a result of a leak at Bio in Ogoniland, Rivers State.
Recalling that the TNP was shut in June after a leak was found, he said, “Investigation then established that it was a third-party interference and that was resolved.
“This is a fresh leak and we are working towards a joint investigation visit to determine the cause.”
Asked when the pipeline would likely come back on stream, Odugbesan, said, “We can’t determine that at this moment, because we still have to conduct a joint investigation visit.”
The 28-inch TNP, which is operated by the SPDC, was shut down on June 8 after a leak was found at Okolo Lunch near Bonny, according to the company.
Last week, Shell lifted the force majeure – a legal clause that allows companies to cancel or delay deliveries due to unforeseen circumstances – it declared on Bonny Light exports in early May. The closure of the other major pipeline, the Nembe Creek Trunk Line, after the discovery of a leak, led to the force majeure.
Nigeria’s oil production has recovered to around 1.9 million barrels per day, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, said on Friday. Attacks by the militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers, had pushed output to its lowest in over 20 years.
Exports of the Forcados crude blend, loaded from Shell’s Forcados terminal, have been down since February following an underwater pipeline attack.
Kachikwu said that repairs were expected to be completed at the end of this month.