Shell's name is currently associated with an oil leak located 120 kilometers off the Nigeria cost. As a result, the company announced it would abandon its operations at the Bonga deepwater facility and focus on effective cleanup operations.
This decision is very important, since the company manages to obtain 200,000 barrels of crude oil and 150 million cubic feet of gas on a daily basis.
At this point in time, Shell is struggling to minimize the impact of the oil spill on the environment. So far, officials from the company have estimated that 40,000 barrels
of oil ended up in the ocean, putting the ecosystem at risk.
The incident has occurred yesterday, during a routine operation aiming to load crude oil “from Bonga’s floating production, storage and off-loading (FPSO) vessel to a waiting oil tanker,” according to a press release.
Apparently, something went wrong during the process and made the oil flow into the ocean. Experts blame the export line connecting the vessel with the oil tanker. Fortunately, it was closed on time, de-pressurized, and prevented from further polluting the water.
Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) stated that closing the operations at the Bonga field was a mere measure of precaution, guaranteeing that similar incidents associated with the name of the company wouldn't disrupt the balance of the area.
All in all, it seems that SNEPCo relies on Oil Spill Response Procedure and Emergency Response Team to monitor and control the situation, for a minimal environmental impact.
“We are sorry this leak has happened. [...] 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,” stated Shell Nigeria Country Chair, Mutiu Sunmonu.
Nigeria is currently one of the most important crude oil suppliers for the American market.