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Shell may resume use of Trans-Ramos Pipeline as spills containment ends

…FG, oil giants lose N195bn to shutdown since May

There are strong indications that Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) Limited, may soon resume flow of crude oil through the Trans-Ramos Pipeline it shutdown since May having almost concluded containment of oil spills that impacted several communities in both Bayelsa and Delta State. The Trans-Ramos Pipeline, which supplies crude oil to the SPDC JV-owned Forcados export terminal, has a capacity of around 100,000 barrels per day.

Shell in a statement last Sunday made it clear that “As soon as clean-up and site assessment are completed, we are committed to starting the immediate remediation of the impacted areas in Aghoro and Odimodi”.

The statement issued in Port Harcourt also revealed that SPDC has successfully recovered and contained over 95 per cent of spills in the impacted communities.

Besides, both the Federal Government and joint venture operators including Shell, Total and Nigeria Agip Oil Company Limited may have lost at least $640m (N195bn) in revenue within the period of the shutdown.

The international oil benchmark, Brent crude, against which Nigerian oil is priced, has been trading around $72 and $76 per barrel since May 25 and using an average oil price of $72 per barrel, the decline of 100,000 bpd in the nation’s oil exports means a loss of $640m or N195bn (using an exchange rate of N360/$1) in three months.

It would be recalled that SPDC had on May 25 that it had shut down production following the discovery of leaks on the pipeline, which is located in the swamps of western Niger Delta.

SPDC is the operator of a joint venture involving the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which holds 55 per cent; Shell, 30 per cent; Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited, 10 per cent; and NAOC, five per cent.