Aiteo reopens Nembe Creek pipeline
Aiteo Eastern Exploration & Production Company Limited has reopened its Nembe Creek trunk line in Bayelsa.
The 100-kilometer long oil exporting pipeline had been shut down after a fire outbreak was discovered in one of its sections on Sunday, April 21, 2019.
Aiteo had initially said the fire outbreak was caused by an illegitimate breach. The pipeline is one of two that exports Bonny Light crude oil. Royal Dutch Shell, which operates the export terminal, declared force majeure last week on the oil grade due to the pipeline closure.
According to a statement released on Friday, Ndiana Matthew, a spokesman for Aiteo, the company’s emergency pipeline repair team has completed leak repair activities on all reported leak points. “Consequently, all injectors have been advised to re-align and commence start-up formalities immediately and advise on their startup times,” the company said.
The Nembe Creek trunk line transports up to 150,000 barrels per day (bpd) of the Bonny Light crude out of the country through the Bonny Crude Oil Export Terminal operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).
Aiteo Group is an integrated, global-focused Nigerian energy conglomerate founded in February 2008 by Benedict Peters.The company has significant business interests in oil and gas exploration and production; bulk petroleum storage; refining of petroleum products; trading, marketing, and supply as well as power generation and distribution. Its subsidiaries are Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company Limited (AEEPCo) and Aiteo Power. Aiteo Group acquired OML 29 from Royal Dutch Shell.
The company had declared a force majeure to get some time to repair the pipeline. Force majeure is an unexpected event which prevents someone or a company from doing something that is written in a legal agreement.
The NCTL shutdown is the second in two months as operations only resumed on March 7 following the plugging of a leak which necessitated the shutdown of the facility on February 28.
The pipeline has been a target of oil thieves and vandals since it was inaugurated after Aiteo purchased a 45% stake from SPDC in 2015. Shell did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the status of its exports.
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