Shell has confirmed that it has shut down the breached gas pipeline in a community in Bayelsa state of Nigeria’s Niger Delta region.

Eni has also declared force majeure on exports of Nigerian Brass River crude oil following the same pipeline explosions, according to Reuters.

Shell said the breached pipeline carries gas to the SPDC-operated Gbaran gas plant. “We immediately shut in the line and we have informed the relevant government agencies and stakeholders,” the agency quoted an SPDC spokesman, adding that a government-led investigation will determine the cause of the breach.

An Eni source told Reuters that the two pipelines were sabotaged with “explosive devices” between Friday and Saturday and that production would resume in full in one week.

“Repair activity, oil spill recovery and clean-up is ongoing … Impact on production is estimated at 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day,” the unnamed spokeswoman said, hinting that crude exports would be delayed by about a week.

Orient Energy Review reported on Monday that yet to be identified vandals struck last weekend at Ikrama community, attacking oil facilities operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC).  Ikarama community is in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa.

A youth leader in Ikarama near the incident site Mr Ben Warder, told the News Agency of Nigeria that residents heard several sounds from the explosions that rocked the oil fields on Monday, about the time the attack took place.

“The site is not far from Ikarama, we heard sounds from the blast and it sounded like dynamites and it was not safe to go near. So, when the situation became quiet we had to trace what happened and it turned out that Shell’s gas pipeline and Agip’s crude lines were destroyed.

“The incident resulted to air pollution from the gas pipeline and crude leak which members of the affected communities are battling to cope with,” Warder said.

Also confirming the incident on Tuesday to newsmen, SPDC spokesman, Mr Michael Adande, said the oil firm had received reports of the incident and shut down the facility to curtail impact.

“We have report of interference on our pipeline about 1 kilometre from Ikarama Community in Bayelsa State. We immediately shut-in the line and we have informed the relevant regulatory government agencies and stakeholders.

By Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja       

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