A subsidiary of Nigeria oil giant, Royal Dutch Shell, announced that it has begun repairs leaks on Bonny Light crude pipelines, which it said was caused by vandal activities.
Shell shut down the 60,000 bpd, declaring a force majeure on the facility on May 4.
“The action is due to production deferment caused by incessant crude theft and illegal bunkering on Nembe Creek Trunkline,” the company said in a statement.
Shell disconnected two sections of the pipeline, which it claimed were being targeted by oil thieves in the lucrative business of illegal refineries.
Tony Attah, vice president of health and the environment for Shell in Africa, said engineers were also working on securing eight other sections said to be popular with oil thieves.
“This is a difficult work requiring careful planning and digging up several sections of the line in swamp and land, investigating illegal bunkering points and deciding whether to clamp them or do sectional replacement,” he was quoted by Nigerian newspaper This Day as saying.
Shell is accused of causing massive environmental damage in the impoverished oil-rich delta of Nigeria, but the oil giant has insisted that oil bunkering, persistent in the south, is in part responsible for pipeline spills.
In a recent press briefing in Port Harcourt, Nigeria Managing Director of Shell, Mutiu Sunmonu, said Shell loses “at least” 43,000 barrels of crude oil daily to theft and illegal bunkering.
He said illegal refinery activities have had a negative impact on the environment and has robbed Nigeria of some revenue.
His words: “This is a serious attack on the nation, the people, the economy and the environment.
“Since we calculate crude theft quantities based on volumes produced from flow stations and what is received at terminals, it is true that additional oil is stolen between wellheads and flow stations.”