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The TIDE ONLINE (Nigeria): Fire hits Shell, NNPC facilities in Ogoniland

Nelson Chukwudi • Tuesday, Apr 1, 2008

Two separate pipeline fires have been reported at two strategic pipelines belonging to Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and located at the K-Dere section of Bomu-Bonny Trans Niger Pipeline in the Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State.

The fire on the Shell’s Bomu – Bonny Trans Niger Pipeline was discovered last Sunday during an over-fly by the oil giant’s helicopter on surveillance mission in the area.

The second fire, discovered yesterday, is also at the K-Dere section of the Bonny Terminal – PHC Refinery Crude Supply Pipeline belonging to the NNPC.

The fire was also observed yesterday during an over-fly of the area by a Shell crew.

Speaking with The Tide yesterday in an interview, an SPDC spokesman, Precious Okolobo, confirmed the incident, saying: “As soon as we were informed of the fire, we mobilised our firefighting and pipeline repair teams, who are now ready to go in once access and security are assured on the ground.

“These teams will work to put out the fire and repair the pipeline,” he stressed.

He admitted that the Bomu-Bonny Trans Niger Pipeline belongs to SPDC; adding that the cause of the fire was yet unknown.

The Tide investigations show that an SPDC helicopter crew had conducted a mapping survey which indicated that the fire is contained within the pipeline right-of-way.

It would be recalled that two fires were reported on the same Bomu – Bonny Trans Niger Pipeline last year, and were blamed on illegal third party interference (sabotage).

The Tide learnt that the latest fire is close to the scene of the two fires last year.

The Shell management indicated yesterday that there would be no production deferment as a result of the fire, dousing suspicion that the inferno may trigger some reverberating shocks on the country’s export capacity, thus, causing a surge in the international prices of oil now hovering around $107-$108 per barrel.

SPDC only recently clarified that it does not produce oil and gas in Ogoniland, re-emphasising that its operations suspended there in 1993 have not been revived.

It said, rather, the company has repeatedly asked to be allowed back in to secure wells, manifolds and pipelines that have been lying dormant to avoid any emergencies as a result of equipment failure, and to ensure that any pipeline incidents are necessarily traceable to third party interference.

The Tide notes that the Trans Niger Pipeline is a key national asset, which evacuates SPDC’s and other companies’ crude oil production for export through the Bonny Export Terminal.

However, K-Dere has been the scene of protests by some Ogoni youths following SPDC’s attempts to secure its Bomu manifold and fix up the lighting system there to improve illumination (security) at night.

Barely two weeks ago, the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) raised alarm that SPDC’s attempt to secure the pipelines, manifolds, and wellheads was a deliberate ploy to secretly resume oil and gas production in Ogoniland.

Although, the company had swiftly denied the claim by MOSOP, restating that the move was in a bid to ensure environmental safety and sustainability, the current fire outbreaks are a testimony to the delicate situation of the facilities in the area. 

http://www.thetidenews.com/article.aspx?qrDate=04/01/2008&qrTitle=Fire%20hits%20Shell,%20NNPC%20facilities%20in%20Ogoniland&qrColumn=FRONT%20PAGE

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2 Comments on “The TIDE ONLINE (Nigeria): Fire hits Shell, NNPC facilities in Ogoniland”

  1. #1 agajere a godspower
    on Apr 18th, 2008 at 18:06

    plzzzzzzzz i need details of spdc analysis of oil pipeline failures

  2. #2 agajere a godspower
    on Apr 18th, 2008 at 18:06

    plzzzzzzzz i need details of spdc analysis of oil pipeline failures

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