The Nigerian Nembe Creek Trunk Line, NCTL, a key oil pipeline to the Bonny terminal, has been shut down for four days now, its operator said Monday.
Domestic producer Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production, the operator of NCTL did not give a reason for the outage at the 150,000 b/d capacity pipeline. Shell, which transports its Bonny Light crude grade via the NCTL, also said Monday it had not declared force majeure on loading from the Bonny terminal due to the closure of the pipeline.
Aiteo said in a statement that there was a fire at the weekend at one of its wells feeding into the NCTL, but that it had been put out and did not cause severe damage.
“It is important to note that prior to this incident, all facilities had been shut down since February 28 due to NCTL outage,” the company said.
It added that it had launched a full investigation into the cause of the fire to determine whether it was an act of sabotage, while working with all the relevant authorities to restore full operations.
Bonny Light is one of the country’s key export grades, with production ranging around 200,000-250,000 b/d.
The pipeline has been a major target of thieves siphoning crude.
In May last year, Shell declared force majeure on exports of Bonny Light crude due to a leak on the NTCL.
Nigeria’s crude and condensate production was less than 2 million b/d in January, 2019.
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