Oil prices rose nearly 2 percent on Monday morning, on trade deal hopes and OPEC supply outages. One of the largest OPEC outages at the moment is the supply disruption at the 150,000 bpd Nigerian Bonny Light export terminal, which was shut down last week according to local media.
The operator of the Nembe Creek pipeline, Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company, said it had shut down the pipeline at the end of February, due to an “outage” in a statement detailing an explosion that had occurred on Saturday near a well at the Nembe field.
“Preliminary investigations confirm that there were no fatalities, human incidents or damage to community property. All the wells and facilities in the immediate vicinity have been inspected and secured. This incident did not occur at or involve any part of the NCTL or other pipelines,” Aiteo said in response to an Associated Press report that a leaky pipeline had exploded in the Nembe Kingdom, in the Niger Delta, and 50 people were missing, with a massive oil spill among the consequences as well.
“It is important to note that prior to this incident, all facilities have been shut down since February 28, 2019, due to NCTL outage. Accordingly, any account suggesting that this incident arose from or affected any pipeline is wholly inaccurate and misleading,” the pipeline operator said.
On Saturday, the Associated Press quoted a Nembe Kingdom chief as saying the Nembe Creek pipeline had exploded and more than 50 people were missing after the blast. The AP also obtained video footage of the burning pipeline from the early hours of Saturday, when the blast was said to have occurred.
The Niger Delta is notorious not just for its oil wealth but its pollution levels as well. The responsibility for these has been the topic of a heated debate between local communities and oil field operators. The latter claim the main reason for the spills is oil theft and pipeline vandalism while the communities accuse the operators of simply not caring for environmental safety standards.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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