Shell Nigeria Examines Trans Niger Pipeline Leak

An in-depth look into the Trans Niger pipeline leak, Shell Nigeria’s role, the financial implications, and the bigger picture of oil theft in Nigeria.

A Close Look at Trans Niger Pipeline’s Recent Issues

Nigeria’s oil sector was rattled when Shell Nigeria disclosed its investigation into a potential leak on the Trans Niger pipeline.

This line, crucial to the nation’s oil export, meanders through the Bodo community in Rivers state.

If you’re wondering about the reliability of this information, well, none other than the reputed Reuters reported it on August 21.

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Let’s break this down a bit.

What’s At Stake?

The Trans Niger pipeline isn’t just any pipeline. It has the capacity to transport 180,000 barrels every day, and it’s one of two channels exporting the revered Bonny Light crude.

The Voices Behind the Report

We have Salt Abimbola Essien-Nelson, Shell Nigeria’s spokesperson, offering some clarity.

While they’re actively working with communities to manage the situation, she didn’t hesitate to mention that most spills stem from vandalism and illicit crude oil tapping.

Ever felt like someone’s trying to tell you a story but not the full one? This feels a bit like that, doesn’t it?

Pipeline’s Major Role

The Trans Niger Pipeline, helmed by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), has one main job: transporting crude from oil fields in Rivers and parts of Bayelsa to the Bonny Crude Oil Export Terminal. It sounds straightforward, right?

Yet, it’s not always smooth sailing.

Flashback to a Frightful Event

Travel back in time to March 3, 2023, and you’ll recall the terrifying explosion at the pipeline’s Rumuekpe section. It wasn’t just a quick flare-up.

This fire raged for hours, leaving a path of destruction, including numerous houses in Emohua Local Government Area.

Can you guess the cause? The SPDC found out it was the handiwork of oil thieves.

These thieves, sadly, are not a new problem in Nigeria. With billions lost annually, it’s a crippling issue.

Just ponder on this: Shell Nigeria had to halt operations at the Forcados terminal just last month.

A sheen was discovered, leading to a dip in Nigeria’s crude production in July 2023.

The Bigger Picture

Oil theft isn’t just Shell Nigeria’s headache. It gnaws at Nigeria’s oil production, and it’s not letting up.

Even the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited is grappling with it.

Now, consider this shocking tidbit: between July’s last week and August’s second week in 2023, over 500 cases of crude oil theft were reported in Imo, Delta, Bayelsa, and Rivers states.

Digging Deeper: A Backstory

Here’s where it gets intriguing. In April 2022, the Trans-Niger pipeline was dormant, all thanks to oil theft.

An investigation in August 2022 by NOSDRA pinpointed a leak caused by third-party meddling.

This interference resulted in environmental contamination.

However, this isn’t the first of its kind. Reliable reports suggest that from July 2013, the pipeline has suffered over a hundred leaks across Rivers State communities, mainly due to bunkering activities.

Financial Implications

Let’s talk numbers, shall we? As of October 2022, a crude oil analyst divulged some startling financial revelations.

The Trans-Niger pipeline’s inactivity led to colossal losses. With a daily capacity of 180,000 barrels, Nigeria lost an estimated $1.2 billion during that period.

Nigeria’s oil scene is, no doubt, rife with challenges. From thefts to leaks, the nation’s oil sector is enduring tough times.

As stakeholders rally to combat these issues, one can only hope for a brighter, more secure future.

for more info do follow /


What capacity does the Trans Niger pipeline have?

It has a capacity of transporting 180,000 barrels daily.

Who operates the Trans Niger Pipeline?

The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) operates it.

How much did Nigeria potentially lose due to the Trans-Niger pipeline’s inactivity?

An estimated $1.2 billion.

How many cases of oil theft were reported between the last week of July and the second week of August 2023?

Over 500 cases were reported.

Which agency identified the third-party interference causing a leak in August 2022?

The National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA).

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