Shell recently announced it had closed its Bonny oil pipeline in Nigeria on Sunday, putting a halt on 150,000 barrels of oil that would have been produced.
The reason? According to a Reuters article, Shell believes that thieves attempting to steal crude oil actually caused a fire. The oil giant plans to find out more details on how the fire occurred, in order to get the pipeline up and running again in the near future.
Apparently, oil theft is quite common in Nigeria. “Oil theft is a major problem in the Niger Delta wetlands region in southern Nigeria, where the majority of its oil is produced. The thousands of kilometers of winding waterways and creeks are difficult to police, although there is also evidence that security officials have been complicit in theft” (Reuters).
In fact, Shell admits that around 150,000 bpd of oil is stolen from pipelines. If this is such a common occurrence in Nigeria, I wonder what other countries oil theft is prevalent in? Further, what does this mean for the global oil companies, like Shell, who operate in these countries?
Read the full Reuters article: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/30/shell-nigeria-idUSL6E8KU2QS20120930