By OBAFEMI OREDEIN
IBADAN -- Shell's Nigerian unit has shut a trunk line of the
Trans Niger Pipeline following a leak, barely a week after
reopening it, the company said.
The latest incident underscores how, despite a government
crackdown, oil theft remains a persistent problem in Nigeria,
Africa's largest oil producer, and continues to disrupt its
The 24 inch trunk line, which is part of a broader pipeline
route that carries 150,000 bpd of oil through the Niger Delta
to the Bonny terminal, was shut.
The company said in a statement that "with the 28 inch TNP
already shut in for removal of illegal theft connections, a
total of about 150,000 barrels per day of oil have been
The statement said "Details of this latest incident
including cause and size of spill are unclear at the moment,
but the TNP has been variously targeted by crude oil thieves in
recent months and shut down several times to enable the removal
of theft points."
The statement said the relevant authorities have been
notified of the incident and Shell's Nigerian subsidiary, Shell
Petroleum Development Co (SPDC), is "mobilizing to respond as
quickly as possible with a joint investigation visit and
repairs, preparatory to clean up."
The TNP was shut down last month following an explosion and
fire at a point that had been targeted by oil thieves at Bodo
West in the Niger Delta's Ogoniland.
SPDC said it reopened the TNP 24-inch pipeline last week
after it had repaired the point where crude oil theft led to an
explosion and removed six crude oil connections where thieves
had tapped in.
Dow Jones Newswires