Nigeria: Shell Decries Rising Oil Spills in Rivers

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Barely one week after Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) joint venture shut the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP), one of the two major pipelines in the Eastern Niger Delta, following an explosion, the company Tuesday said it recorded eight crude oil theft and sabotage related spill incidents at the Adibawa field also in Eastern Niger Delta between January and June this year.

The Adibawa oilfield straddles Biseni, Edagberi and Ikarama communities in Rivers State.

Confirming these incidents, Shell’s Corporate Media Relations Manager, Mr. Tony Okonedo, said in a statement Tuesday that majority of the spills were caused when unknown persons inflicted extensive hacksaw cuts on pipelines.

Okonedo said a joint team comprising regulators, government ministries, SPDC and communities investigated each of the spills and confirmed their findings in signed-off reports.

According to him, the latest spills occurred on the Adibawa-Okordia pipeline at Ikarama on May 24 and June 4 respectively, adding that the largest individual spilled volume of 447 barrels came from the June incident.

“Investigation is continuing into another spill which occurred on the Adibawa North East flowline at Biseni on May 22. In line with its spill response strategy and at the earliest opportunity, SPDC shut down the pipelines, mobilised teams to the site of the incidents for containment and recovery of spilled oil. Cleanup of impacted areas is planned for later in the year,” he said.

SPDC’s Managing Director and Country Chairman of Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, said the company was concerned over the rising trend of spills in Adibawa field.

“Just between April 9 and 26, we recorded four sabotage spills in the same area, polluting rivers and blighting swathes of land. All stakeholders must work together to try to stop this crime against Nigeria,” Sunmonu said.

Sunmonu also stated that his company would continue to bring new level of transparency in spills reporting.
Recently, the company shut the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP), deferring production of 150,000 barrels of crude oil per day, due to an explosion and fire at a crude theft point on the 28-inch section of the facility at Bodo West in Ogoni land of Rivers State.


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