Barely 48 hours after Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company announced the reopening of operations on the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL), the facility has again been shut down.
Late last Friday, the Aiteo spokesperson, Ndiana Mathew, announced the restoration of normal crude oil transport operations through the pipeline.
Mr Mathew said the reopening followed the successful completion of repairs on all reported leaks on the pipeline by the company’s Emergency Pipeline Repair teams.
He said all injectors were advised to re-align and commence start-up formalities immediately, while the different operators were equally advised on their respective startup times.
However, late on Sunday, Mr Ndiana returned with another announcement of the re-closure of the pipeline following reports of two fresh leak points along the line near Awoba Riser Manifold in Rivers State.
He blamed the new leakage to illegal activities of oil thieves along the pipeline in the area.
“Our emergency response process was immediately activated, and containment boom deployed to limit oil spread on bodies of water whilst efforts to identify (the) cause of incident/repair has been initiated,” he said.
“Consequently, all injectors have been advised in accordance with NCTL shutdown procedure to shut-in production into the NCTL immediately. Appropriate Oil Leakage/Spillage Notification Report will follow shortly to DPR/NOSDRA (Department of Petroleum Resources/National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA),” he added.
The closure of the pipeline was first announced last month following a fire outbreak. The incident resulted in the management of the company declaring a ‘force majuere’ on all operations through the pipeline.
Force Majuere is always declared by a company to inform its customers that obligations in respect of its existing contracts may be disrupted due to unforeseen developments.
The decision to halt operations on the pipeline followed an alert by a surveillance team composed of the Joint Task Force (JTF) and State Security Service around the NCTL right of way near Awoba.
The company said the fire may have resulted from an illegitimate, third-party breach.
Consequently, in accordance with standard procedure, the company said normal operations on the pipeline was stopped to allow investigations and repairs.
Last week, the company reported progress, as it said the pipeline was undergoing tests after the repairs.
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 and emerged as Nigeria’s leading oil and gas company.