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allAfrica.com: Nigeria: Shell Shuts Utorogun Gas Plant

This Day (Lagos)
16 October 2007
Omon-Julius Onabu
Warri

Indications that prices of industrial and domestic gas might soon go-up have emerged, following sudden shut-down of production lines at the Utorogun Gas Plant.

The Utorogun Gas Plant in Ughelli, Delta State, was shut down on Thursday, following a fire believed to have been ignited by vandals engaged in illegal bunkering of condensate, a gas derivative.
 
The incident occurred along the pipeline to the Utorogun Gas Plant, leading to extensive damage to petroleum products channeling facilities, as well as loss of large quantities of the products.

Fears of a likely rise in the price of the fuel were heightened by reported decision of the Shell Petroleum Development Com-pany (SPDC) to shut down the plant until the company’s management thinks otherwise.

THISDAY, however, gathered that SPDC has no immediate plan to review the indefinite action due to inability of the company either to determine the overall extent and impact of the fire or immediately estimate the cost of carrying out repairs.

Initial feelers from headquarters of Shell West Operation in the Niger Delta assured of an early determination of the damages and overall impact of the inferno, even as investigation into the real cause of the fire were to continue.

However, when contacted yesterday, SPDC Media Manager, Mr Aoiri Obaigbo, said, “the Utorogun Gas Plant remains shut. We are not in a position to comment on the casualties or extent of damage to the facilities at the moment. Condensate is one of the petroleum products that is commonly sold in Nigeria as petrol to unsuspecting motorists and other users.”

SPDC and agencies of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) have often warned against vandalism and indiscriminate use of condensate, which is believed to be the cause of many automobile engine problems and damages.

http://allafrica.com/stories/200710160473.html

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