Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Shell cuts production in Rivers, Abia over oil theft

The Nation
26 September 2011

The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has shut in 25,000 barrels of crude oil daily from its Imo River Field in Rivers and Abia states in the Niger Delta, in view of recent upsurge of sabotage incidents, including oil theft, illegal bunkering and refining, with negative impact on the environment.

The shut in, according to the oil firm, will continue until the pollution is addressed and solutions are found to the menace of illegal bunkering/refining and oil theft in the affected areas and other parts of the crude oil and gas-rich region by the Federal Government.

The Anglo/Dutch oil giant’s Vice-President, Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) and Corporate Affairs, Mr Tony Attah, disclosed this in Port Harcourt yesterday, in an interactive session with reporters, after overflying in helicopters, the illegal refining sites in Rivers and Abia states.

In Rivers State, Imo 2 and Nkali are affected, while in Abia State, Imo 1, 3 and Isimiri in Ukwa West Local Government Area are also affected.

The operation is within OML (Oil Mineral Licence) 11 and 17, a distance of 30 kilometres from Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital.

Five flow stations: Imor-1, 3 and Isimiri (Abia state) and Imor-2 and Nkali (Rivers state), as well as one Associated Gas (AG) Compressor Station at Imor-1, with 3 boosters at Imor-2, 3 and Nkali are also affected.

Attah said: “The scale of crude theft is unprecedented in the area. In September alone, we discovered 16 illegal bunkering points within Imo River Field

“Besides revenue loss to government and other stakeholders, significant portions of the stolen crude are spilled, blighting large swathes of the ecosystem.

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