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4 leak points on Trans Ramos Pipeline responsible for shut-in—Shell

More facts have emerged on why Trans Ramos Pipeline in the swamps of Western Niger Delta has remained shut, leading to the loss of well over 100,000 barrels of crude oil per day (bpd) which amounts to revenue loss of about N2.7tn per day as crude remains at $75 per barrel.

Operator of the Joint Venture, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) had confirmed four leak points on the 100,000 barrels per day Trans Ramos Pipeline, saying efforts are on to effect repairs at record time.

A statement from Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and signed by the Media Relations Manager, Bamidele Odugbesan, explained that as soon as the leaks were noticed on April 24, SPDC immediately shut down production, deployed containment booms and mobilised its oil spill response teams to clean the sites.

He said that these measures, which he noted, were according to SPDC’s standard operating procedures, successfully stopped and contained the spill.

“In line with Nigerian oil and gas industry regulations, a Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) team comprising security and regulatory agencies as well as community representatives and SPDC personnel was constituted and deployed in the sites,” the statement added.

Odugbesan said that the JIV team confirmed four leak points on the pipeline and identified the impacted areas in Odimodi community.

He said that the cause of the leaks is yet to be determined as SPDC is said to be working on further site preparation and mobilisation of specialised equipment to the swamps for safe excavation of the pipeline for inspection.

Industry analysts say incessant shut-in of crude oil pipelines has remained one of the biggest challenges of Nigeria’s oil sector even though the terrain and sabotage are not helping matters after all.

Figures from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) showed that about 163,000bpd was shut-in for the entire month of December 2017, due to facility integrity issues.

Business Hilights recalls that the Trans-Niger Pipeline (TNP) was shut down from 13th to 17th December 2017, due to leaking crude oil theft point in the Bodo area, which resulted in the production shut-in of about 120,000 barrels for five days at Bonny Terminal.

Latest history of shut-ins in the Nigerian Niger Delta region shows that in January 2018, a total of 194 pipeline points were vandalized, 22 pipeline points were either failed to be fixed or ruptured/clamped.

Besides, about 216 pipeline points were destroyed for the month under review as against the 176 points recorded in the previous month as Port Harcourt-Calabar-Aba and Aba-Enugu pipeline segments accounted for 187 points or 86.57 per cent of the affected pipeline points.