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Shell’s Nigerian unit shuts down Trans Niger pipeline

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World Pipelines,

Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary has shut its 180 000 bpd Trans Niger pipeline in Nigeria due to a leak, the company said in a statement on Monday, effectively shutting in exports of Bonny Light crude oil.

The Nigerian unit of Shell has shut its Trans Niger Pipeline due to a leak, while the managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said on Monday that the pipeline was attacked.

Shell’s Nigeria subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), said that it had shut the pipeline last Friday following a leak that had occurred in Ogoniland. The company is investigating the cause of the leak.

Trans Niger Pipeline is an export route for Bonny Light exports, the other being the Nembe Creek trunkline, which closed earlier this month.

Now the closure of the Trans Niger Pipeline effectively shuts Bonny Light exports.

Speaking to Nigerian reporters on Monday, NNPC’s group Managing Director Maikanti Baru said that suspected militants had blown up the Trans Niger Pipeline, reducing Nigeria’s production by 150 000 bpd.  

The closure of the Trans Niger Pipeline comes just as Nigeria is recovering it crude oil output and was invited to share its production plans with OPEC-non-OPEC’s joint monitoring committee meeting earlier this week.

Nigeria, alongside Libya, is exempt from OPEC’s cuts due to militant attacks on oil infrastructure, although Nigeria has agreed to cap production at 1.8 million bpd after production has stabilised at that level.

Shell declared force majeure on Bonny Light exports earlier this month after the closure of the Nembe Creek trunkline by operator Aiteo, the only other export avenue, but until last week loadings continued via the Trans Niger Pipeline.

SPDC said efforts are ongoing for a joint investigation visit to determine the cause of the leak and repair of the pipeline.

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