Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell said it re-opened Wednesday two key supply pipelines in Nigeria shut last week because of leaks and sabotage that forced it to declare a “force majeure” on crude oil exports.
“The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC)…today (September 2) lifted the force majeure on Bonny Light exports following the repair and re-opening of the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) and Nembe Creek Trunkline (NCTL.)”, the company said in a statement.
The SPDC, a subsidiary of Shell in Nigeria, said it declared the force majeure last Thursday following the shutdown of both the TNP and NCTL.
The two pipelines take crude to the Bonny Light exports terminal, one of Nigeria’s main oil terminals.
“Force majeure” is a legal term releasing a company from contractual obligations when faced with circumstances beyond its control.
Shell, a major oil operator in Nigeria, did not disclose the volume of output affected by the incident.
The company has blamed repeated oil thefts and sabotage of key pipelines as the major cause of spills and pollution in the oil-producing region.
Crude oil theft or “bunkering” is a major problem in Nigeria, with estimates that the country loses some $6 billion (4.3 billion euros) in revenue every year because of the practice.
Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil producer, accounting for more than two million barrels per day.