The Federal Government on Wednesday sent an investigative team to probe the leakage on Shell’s Trans Niger pipeline.

Shell Petroleum Development Company  confirmed the  leak on its Trans Niger Pipeline, following an illegal connection in Nonwa-Uedume community axis in Tai Local Government Area of Rivers State.

This was barely 24-hours after The PUNCH reported that a pipeline used by illegal refiners to steal crude oil was uncovered in the community.

Recall that the chairman of Tai LGA of the state, Mbakpone Okpe, had raised the alarm over illegal oil bunkering activities going on in some communities in the area.

Okpe, who disclosed the illegal pipeline when he led security operatives and council officials to the scene following a tip off, had accused Shell of insensitivity after reporting the incident to the company.

“This discovery cost me money to get the intel (information) and this access. I called them (Shell) to come let us collaborate. It is their asset, not mine.

“I cannot risk my resources and my personnel in discovering this and at the end of the day the owners are not coming forward to take responsibility.

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“I will wish they would come so that we can collaborate to clamp it. It is not only discovering it, but also to close it so that it doesn’t recur. Since then, Shell never came. It is part of the problem I have been having with them,” Okpe stated.

But the Media Relations Manager, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Abimbola Essien-Nelson, said the company has started repairs on the leaked pipeline.

Nelson, in a statement made available to our correspondent on Wednesday, said a Joint Investigation Team led by industry regulator had been sent to visit the illegal connection site for investigation.

The statement read, “The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited confirms receiving a report of a leak from an illegal connection point on the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) at Nonwa-Uedume Community.

“A Joint Investigation Team led by industry regulator was immediately sent to visit the illegal connection site for investigation and we are awaiting the signed-off report of the JIV. The illegal connection point on the SPDC joint venture pipeline is also undergoing repairs.

“Meanwhile, SPDC seeks the support of stakeholders including community people to report any illegal activities around SPDC joint venture oil installations to SPDC or relevant government agencies.”

By Vision

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