Anglo-Dutch oil giant and major oil operator in Nigeria, Shell has shut down two key supply pipelines, Trans Niger Pipeline and Nembe Creek Trunkline in Nigeria because of leaks and sabotage and declared a force majeure – a legal term releasing a company from contractual obligations when faced with circumstances beyond its control, on crude oil exports.
Shell’s subsidiary in Nigeria SPDC said in a statement that the force majeure became effective from Thursday “following the shutdown of both the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) and Nembe Creek Trunkline (NCTL).”
The company said a leak was reported on the TNP at Oloma in southern Rivers state, “while the NCTL is shut down for the removal of crude theft points.”
The two pipelines take crude to the Bonny Light exports terminal, one of Nigeria’s main oil terminals and Shell said it was working to repair and re-open the two key pipelines as quickly as possible.
Shell did not disclose the volume of output affected by the incident.
The company has blamed repeated oil thefts and sabotage of key pipelines as the major cause of spills and pollution in oil-producing regions.
Crude oil theft or “bunkering” is a major problem in Nigeria, with estimates that the country loses some $6 billion (4.3 billion euros) in revenue every year because of the practice.
Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil producer, accounting for more than two million barrels per day.
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