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Oil giant Shell shuts down key supply pipeline in Nigeria

West Africa – Anglo-Dutch energy giant Shell announced Tuesday that it has shut down a key crude supply pipeline in Nigeria’s twitchy south because of a leak.

The company’s subsidiary the Shell Petroleum Development Corporation of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) said the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) was shut down on July 21 at B-Dere in Ogoniland.

“Efforts are ongoing for a joint investigation visit to determine the cause of the leak and repair of the pipeline,” the company said in a release.

Shell’s damage in Nigeria

Although the volume of production shut-in was not disclosed, militants and oil thieves in the region have repeatedly attacked the pipelines, destroying assets valued at millions of dollars.

In the past, community unrest has and continues force Shell to quit oil production in Ogoniland in 1993 but the company still runs a network of pipelines crisscrossing the terrain.

A leader for the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), an advocacy and pressure group stated that it was not responsible for the latest shutdown by the oil giant.

“We are not involved in the incident we only heard about it. Our position however remains that Shell is not welcome on our land,” Fegalo Nsuke said.

Shell transports oil from Africa

He urged Shell to deal with the issues of environmental degradation, neglect, injustice and under-development before it can restart oil production in Ogoniland.

“If they want our oil, they have to take care of the people,” he added.

MOSOP founder Ken Saro-Wiwa was executed with eight other activists by Nigeria’s then-military government in November 1995 on trumped-up murder charges at a secret trial.

In 2015, the Dutch oil giant agreed to pay £55 million ($72 million, 61 million euros) in compensation to more than 15,500 people in Ogoniland and agreed to start a clean-up of two major spills. To date, that pledge has not been released.

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Ben Mabande

Ben Mabande is a researcher and senior contributing reporter with Globe Afrique Media.

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