The Agbada 2 flow station should have been buzzing with activity, pumping crude to one of Nigeria’s largest export terminals. Instead it was idle in the muggy, midmorning heat as Wilcox Emmanuel, the facility’s manager, shrugged in resignation about the thieves who’d shut him down.
As much as 30% of the oil sent by pipelines through the swampy Niger River delta is stolen, consultant Wood Mackenzie estimates. That’s depriving the country of income amid a crippling recession and compounding the pain of a global price slump for Africa’s largest producer.
At Agbada, the wells dotting the surrounding forests had been closed for three weeks following a pipeline leak that was probably deliberate. “Who knows when we’ll be back up?” Emmanuel said.
The 60,000-BOPD flow station, owned by Royal Dutch Shell’s Nigerian unit and idle for most of June, illustrates the nation’s struggle to restore deliveries of its most vital resource. Even after the government quelled a militant uprising that sent production to a 30-year low last August, smaller-scale sabotage caused by people trying to steal oil remains rife.
Companies are using surveillance helicopters equipped with infrared cameras every day. They’re also experimenting with drones and cages on wellheads rigged with alarms. But nothing seems to fix the problem.
“We’re trying all sorts of things, you wouldn’t believe it,” Igo Weli, a manager at Shell, said in Port Harcourt, Nigeria’s oil capital. “But how do you protect thousands of kilometers of pipelines against people who are out to sabotage them?”
Read the full story here
Don't miss our latest HSE content, delivered to your inbox twice monthly. Sign up for the HSE Now newsletter. If you are not logged in, you will receive a confirmation email that you will need to click on to confirm you want to receive the newsletter.
10 Nov 2019
- Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
This course will help you develop a better understanding of factors that could impact your daily economic decisions as well as establish a new set of applicable tools to use in your professional career.
Through this workshop, attendees will go through the different processes involved in strategic planning including the elements of organizational SWOT, business scenario and options development, elaboration of strategic options and communication to stakeholders.
1 Nov 2019
- Bali, Indonesia
Registration Coming Soon
11 - 12 Sep 2019
- Bakersfield, California, USA
Combine engineering with computer programming in this 2-day course
3 Oct 2019
- Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Being Human - reserve your place at this one-day course
3 - 4 Oct 2019
- Calgary, Alberta, Canada
For a better understanding of geomechanical factors, attend this course
9 - 11 Nov 2019
- Abu Dhabi, UAE
The programme combines expert input, case studies, and immersive scenarios from the E&P and other industries to embed your learning and enable you to progress to the next level of your career.
HSE Now is a source for news and technical information affecting the health, safety, security, environment, and social responsibility discipline of the upstream oil and gas industry.
©2003-2019 Society of Petroleum Engineers, All Rights Reserved.