Shell again shuts down Trans Niger oil, gas pipeline to repair new leaks


IBADAN -- Royal Dutch Shell's Nigerian unit said that it has shut down the Trans Niger Pipeline, or TNP, to repair new leaks at Bodo West and Oloma which resulted from the theft of crude oil.

Precious Okolobo, spokesman for Shell Petroleum Development Corp. of Nigeria, said in a statement that the company has declared force majeure on Bonny Light exports and deferred some 150,000 bopd.

He said 500 MMscfpd of gas to the Nigeria liquefied natural gas plant, or NLNG, have also been deferred.

"The TNP has repeatedly been targeted and closed down five times since early July due to multiple leaks from crude theft connections," Mr. Okolobo said.

He said the company was working to "repair and reopen the line as soon as possible."

The TNP, which carries 150,000 bopd through the Niger Delta to the Bonny Export terminal, was also shut down on July 11, according to Shell.

Force majeure is declared when a company is unable to fulfill its contractual obligations to deliver crude or gas due to circumstances beyond its control.

The latest shutdown underscores that fact that, despite a government crackdown, oil theft and damage to pipelines remain a persistent problem in Nigeria, Africa's largest oil producer.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., said Nigeria's oil production has risen to 2.4 MMbpd due to positive developments from efforts to curb oil theft and vandalism

The NNPC in a statement said criminal activity forced the shut down of three major trunk lines, shutting in 400,000 bopd.

Dow Jones Newswires

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