Shell Shuts Pipeline in Nigeria Due to Possible Oil Theft


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:


About Jessica Summers

My name is Jessica Summers. I graduated as valedictorian from Marymount Manhattan College in 2012 with a B.A. in Communications and minors in Journalism and Political Science. During college, I spent a summer abroad studying at Oxford University and also held internships at CNN International, CNBC Business News, and WABC-TV, among other news organizations and media outlets. I am currently a graduate student at New York University’s Business and Economic Reporting program. I am an aspiring broadcast journalist, especially interested in covering the world of business and finance.
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One Response to Shell Shuts Pipeline in Nigeria Due to Possible Oil Theft

  1. Spencer says:

    Interesting article! It seemed only a matter of time before Shell shut this pipeline down, with the unrest in Nigeria escalating in recent weeks, and many barrels being stolen directly off the line on a daily basis. Officially, Nigeria exports 2 million bpd of crude oil. This Shell 28inch pipeline conveys oil to the Bonny Terminal, which handles Bonny Light, Nigeria’s benchmark crude grade. The Bonny Light crude makes up around 10 percent of the total oil exported out of Nigeria, Africa’s biggest producer. Nigeria was due to export around 205,000 bpd of Bonny Light in November and 229,000 bpd in October, according to provisional loading programs. The grade is gasoline-rich and is popular with U.S. refiners. So technically, Nigeria has lost 5-7% of their daily export due to the closing of this line. Hopefully, this will not effect international markets too much as the recent price of crude, and subsequently gasoline at the pump, has reached record highs in the most recent months.

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