With the current price of Brent crude oil at N75 per barrel during the trading hours of Monday, Nigeria is losing about N2.7 billion daily, as the 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) Trans Ramos Pipeline in the swamps of Western Niger Delta remain shut.
The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) confirmed four leak points on the 100,000 barrels per day Trans Ramos Pipeline at the weekend.
Shut-in of crude oil pipelines has remained one of the biggest challenges of Nigeria’s oil sector.
Latest data from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) showed that about 163,000bpd was shut-in for the entire month of December 2017, due to facility integrity issues.
Also, the Trans-Niger Pipeline (TNP) was shut down from 13th to 17th December 2017, due to leaking crude oil theft point in the Bodo area, which resulted in the production shut-in of about 120,000 barrels for five days at Bonny Terminal.
In January 2018, a total of 194 pipeline points were vandalized, 22 pipeline points were either failed to be fixed or ruptured/clamped.
Thus, 216 pipeline points were destroyed for the month under review as against the 176 points recorded in the previous month.
Port Harcourt-Calabar-Aba and Aba-Enugu pipeline segments accounted for 187 points or 86.57 per cent of the affected pipeline points.
A statement from Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and signed by the Media Relations Manager, Bamidele Odugbesan, explained that as soon as the leaks were noticed on April 24, SPDC immediately shut down production, deployed containment booms and mobilised its oil spill response teams to clean the sites.
He said that these measures, which he noted, were according to SPDC’s standard operating procedures, successfully stopped and contained the spill.
“In line with Nigerian oil and gas industry regulations, a Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) team comprising security and regulatory agencies as well as community representatives and SPDC personnel was constituted and deployed in the sites,” the statement added.
Odugbesan said that the JIV team confirmed four leak points on the pipeline and identified the impacted areas in Odimodi community.
He said that the cause of the leaks is yet to be determined as SPDC is said to be working on further site preparation and mobilisation of specialised equipment to the swamps for safe excavation of the pipeline for inspection.
According to him, the JIV team is expected to return to the sites as soon as possible to complete the investigation process.
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru had appealed to oil pipeline hackers to desist from such nefarious act, which according to him, is not only harmful to the environment but equally hazardous to the pipeline vandals and the economy.
Baru noted that the ugly incident of petroleum pipeline pulverization presented a loss-loss scenario for the vandal, the environment and the economy.