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Shell shuts key Nigeria pipeline due to fire

BY SELINA WILLIAMS

LONDON -- Shell said that its Nigeria subsidiary had shut a key oil pipeline following a fire caused by theft of crude from the line. The SPDC, shut the 28 inch Bomu Bonny trunk line it operates in a joint venture after discovering a fire on it early Sunday, the company said in a statement.

The line carries crude oil to Bonny Terminal. As a result of the shutdown, around 150,000 bopd is deferred, the company said. A burning vessel, thought to be involved in the theft of crude oil from the line, was seen near the incident site, close to Okololunch community in the Eastern Niger Delta.

A helicopter over fly showed the vessel engulfed in raging flames with thick smoke, the company said. SPDC is mobilizing to fight the fire, investigate the cause and carry out repairs, the company said.

The Bomu-Bonny trunk line is part of the Trans-Niger Pipeline, which itself has been the target of crude theft activities.

Last year, sabotage and crude oil theft were also the cause of 11,806 barrels spilled from SPDC facilities in 118 incidents.

This incident clearly demonstrates the scale of the oil theft problem which, alongside the hundreds of illegal refineries in the Delta, is having such a profound effect on the people, communities and the environment, said Shell' s Vice President for Health, Safety, Environment & Corporate Affairs, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Tony Attah.

Until these activities are brought to a halt there will be no improvement in the environmental situation, he added.

Dow Jones Newswires

10/01/2012

 

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