By Omuboye Sukubo/Port Harcourt
The Trans Niger Pipeline in Gio, Tai Local Government Area of Rivers state has been shut by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) of Nigeria Limited.
In a statement issued in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, Mr Joe Obari, SPDC spokesman, said a fire was observed on the right of way of the pipeline (TNP) at in Ogoni land.
“This is also the right of way of the Bonny–Refinery pipeline belonging to the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).”
Obari said that a joint investigation visit would determine the cause and impact of the fire.
“SPDC has shut the TNP as a precautionary measure pending the investigation,” he said.
It was not clear whether Shell was referring to the same BonnyCrude Export pipeline, which the Niger Delta Avengers claimed its men damaged on Friday last week.
The Trans Niger Pipeline is one of two major pipelines that carries the Bonny Light crude grade for export.
Force majeure was declared earlier in May by Shell on Bonny Light exports after the NCTL was closed.
The Anglo-Dutch oil giant is joined at TNP by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporaton (NNPC), French multinational company, Total and Italian major Eni’s subsidiary Agip.
The shutdown comes as repairs are completed on the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) that also moves the major export grade.
Shell had initially declined to confirm the report or whether oil export has been compromised, with the latest sabotage by the Avengers.
The Niger Delta Avengers said its attack was “only a wake-up call” and a response to a clampdown by security forces that it says violated the ceasefire.