Monday, May 10, 2010

Nigeria: Fire Outbreak - Shell Shuts Down Production in Rivers

Dennis Naku

Port Harcourt — Royal Dutch oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has shut down oil production in Nigeria, following a massive pipeline fire which ravaged the Trans-Niger-pipeline in two major oil bearing communities of Ogoni land, Rivers State on last week.

To this effect, the multinational company has stopped the feeding of the pipeline with crude to forestall further damage.

Already, spokesman of Shell in Nigeria, Mr. Precious Okolobo while confirming the incident to Sunday Champion in a text message, said 'there were several leaks and two major fires on a section of the Trans-Niger Pipeline located at Bodo west and Bera communities in Gokana local government area, Rivers State.

Okolobo stated that the multinational company got the report of the fire last Wednesday evening and quickly mobilized to put out the fire.

The inferno which started on Tuesday also caused series of spill in the mangrove areas, while no fewer than seven local engine boats were destroyed, according to close sources in the communities, although no life was loss to the raging fire.

Both Shell and community sources said the fire may not be unconnected with illegal bunkering activities by the locals.

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