…Says, it has ongoing programme that replaces sections of the TNP
The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has reacted to calls by groups for the replacement or re-routing of the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) in Bodo, Gokana Local Council Area of Rivers State in the face of repeated spills.
The story was carried by BDSunday last week, the SPDC’s response had not come in before the newspaper went to bed. Reacting, a spokesperson for the SPDC Limited said: “The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), operator of the NNPC/SPDC/TotalEnergies/NAOC Joint Venture, conducts its operations in a responsible manner with due regard for the environment.”
The oil giant said it has an ongoing work programme that appraises, maintains, and replaces key sections of their pipelines and flowlines to reduce the number of operational spills and enhance the integrity of the pipelines.
“This work is organised through a proactive pipeline and flowline integrity management system. The system installs barriers, where necessary, and recommends when and where pipeline sections should be replaced to prevent failures.
“In 2022, for example, around 27 kilometres of pipelines and flowlines were replaced. Additionally, by the end of 2022, a total of 311 new steel cages were installed around critical infrastructure nodes, including 38 that were upgraded with CCTV,” the spokesperson said.
This compared to a total of 283 installed cages at the end of 2021, the statement added.
Furthermore, SPDC went ahead, “Over the last 12 years, the total number of operational hydrocarbon spills and the volume of oil spilled from SPDC JV’s operations into the environment has reduced significantly.
“Unfortunately, along with other operators in Nigeria, SPDC continues to face the twin challenges of pipeline sabotage and crude oil theft, each of which endangers people’s lives, the environment and deprives our country and our people of billions of dollars of tax revenue.
“Whenever spills occur, SPDC supports a regulator-led Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) by a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to establish the cause, volume, extent, and impact of the spilled oil,” he said.
The spokesperson said the JIT comprises representatives of SPDC-JV, regulators (led by National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA), government security agencies, state governments, communities, and occasionally local NGOs as observers.
According to him, “SPDC continues to transparently publish details of every oil spill JIV on the Shell Nigeria website. [Please, clink on this link to access the website Oil Spill Data | Shell Nigeria
Oil Spill Data
The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited is committed to minimising oil spills to the environm…
“From reports published after JIVs, most oil spills in the Niger Delta region continue to be caused by crude oil theft, the sabotage of oil and gas production facilities, and illegal oil refining. Illegal connections used for the purpose of crude oil theft activities continued to be a challenge.
“For example, a total of 468 illegal connections were removed from SPDC’s pipelines in 2022 compared to 195 in 2021.”
The company said illegal connections are identified by daily inspections from the air and on the ground.
“Crude oil theft poses a serious environmental risk that impacts not just oil and gas operations but also our communities.
“Our teams continue to collaborate with the Nigerian government and other stakeholders with the aim of eradicating crude oil theft from our facilities. There is cause for optimism, as these collaborations are starting to yield results through changes in approach. Together, we have also made progress in developing security systems that allow us to better monitor our facilities, and therefore detect and deter some of these illegal actions.
“Regardless of the cause of a spill, we clean up and remediate areas affected by spills originating from our facilities,” he said.