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Shell’s Nigerian division has shut down one of the two pipelines that carry Bonny light crude to its Forcados terminal in the Niger Delta, saying a fire was detected “on the right of way” of the pipeline. The shutdown will take 180,000 bpd off Shell’s Nigerian exports.
At the same time, the company continues to refuse to confirm or deny an announcement from the Niger Delta Avengers from Saturday that they’d blown up a Bonny Light pipeline. Shell has two pipelines bringing crude of this blend to Forcados, and the fire was detected at the Trans Niger Pipeline. It remains unclear whether the fire is a consequence of the NDA attack or if the attack was on the other pipeline.
Africa News recalls that Shell had to shut down the TNP last month as well, after a leak was detected in the section that passes through Ogoniland – the same area where the fire was spotted.
The NDA said it attacked the pipeline in response to government attempts of “over dramatisation of the so-called dialogue and negotiation process on the side of President Muhammadu Buhari and his government.”
The group added in its statement that the government will have to work harder to convince them it has the best interests of the Delta communities at heart during the negotiations.”
With the attack, the militant group broke a 60-day ceasefire that was planned to make space for negotiations with the federal government and put an end to violence in the Niger Delta.
Meanwhile, the government of Nigeria is suing Shell, along with Eni, Chevron, Total, and Petrobras, on allegations that they stole some US$12.7 billion worth of crude by either declaring a smaller amount at the departure of tankers from the Nigerian coast than the amount arriving in the U.S., or by not declaring crude oil cargos at all.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.