Shell sees 41% rise in Nigerian oil spills due to sabotage

Royal Dutch Shell saw an increase of 41% in the number of crude oil spills caused by sabotage and oil thefts in Nigeria in 2019, Kallanish Energy learns from the group’s annual report released last week.

There were 164 spills of more than 100 kilograms reported in the Niger Delta, onshore Nigeria – of which 157 were caused by pipeline sabotage or theft. In 2018, Shell’s onshore unit in the country, SPDC, recorded 111 spills due to sabotage.

SPDC is a joint venture operated by Shell (30%) and includes the Nigerian state oil company NNPC (55%), Total (10%) and Eni (5%). It operates over 6,000 kilometers of pipelines in the delta, producing roughly 1 million barrels of oil per day.

In terms of volume spilt as a result of illegal activities, there’s also been an increase year-on-year — from 1,600 tonnes in 2018 to 2,000 tonnes in 2019.

However, SPDC reported a drop of around 93% in operational spills weight. Overall, the company managed to reduce operational spillages to seven incidents, compared to 15 in 2018.

The security issues, sabotage and crude oil theft in the Niger Delta were “significant challenges” to Shell’s operations in the country last year, the supermajor said. However, “irrespective of the cause, SPDC works to clean up and remediate areas impacted by spills originating from its facilities,” the report noted. 

Source: Kallanish Energy

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