Oil Giant Shell Shuts Down 200,000 bpd Oilfields in Bonga

Channels Television  
Updated December 21, 2011

Nigeria’s largest oil producer Royal Dutch Shell released a statement today confirming that the company will be shutting down its 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) Bonga oilfield after a leak occurred off the Nigerian coast.

According to the statement “less than 40,000 barrels of oil” has leaked into the ocean; however spokesman for the giant oil company assured that the flow of oil has now ceased.

The statement explained that an oil tanker transporting crude product from Shell’s Bonga facility, about 120km off the Nigerian coast, was responsible for the leak.

A Reuters data reported that the Shell facility in Bonga “accounts for around 10 percent of monthly oil flows from OPEC member Nigeria”.

“We are sorry this leak has happened. As soon as we became aware of it, we stopped the flow of oil and mobilised our own resources, as well as industry expertise, to ensure its effects are minimised,” said Shell Nigeria Country Chair Mutiu Sunmonu.

“It is important to stress that this was not a well control incident of any sort, and to make clear that no-one has been injured. Our focus now is on a speedy and effective clean-up,” he added.

The flow of oil is reportedly halted on all three of the platform’s export lines where it is believed that the leak occurred, the Spokesman said.

Shell has assured that it is launching an investigation in order to discover the reason behind the leak; they however did not disclose a timeframe for restarting production at the facility.

According to Reuters, Shell’s share price fell during the day by around 1.5 per cent on Wednesday to 2,271 pence by 1314 GMT today.

West Africa’s oil traders speculated that the shut-down of Shell will “likely boost prices for other Nigerian grades”. “It should lend some support to the remaining Nigerian (oil),” said one trader.