Business

Aiteo declares force majeure on NCTL over fire incident

The management of Aiteo Eastern Exploration & Production Company Limited, an arm of Aiteo Group,has declared force majeure on Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) in Bayelsa State as a result of fire incident on the facility on Sunday.

The NCTL is one of Nigeria’s major oil pipelines that evacuate crude from oil fields in the Niger Delta region. The force majeure became imperative to enable restoration of the facility. Force majeure is unforeseeable circumstance that exempts contracting parties from fulfilling their contractual obligations because such circumstance is beyond their control.

Aiteo in a statement signed by its official, Mr. Ndiana Matthew, said: “We have been informed of a fire outbreak by our surveillance team comprising the Joint Task Force (JTF), Department of State Services (DSS), around NCTL RoW(Right of Way) near Awoba today, 21 April 2019.

“Our Operations Emergency Response team was immediately activated and following its urgent intervention and containment action, we are constrained to shut in injection as well as other related operations into the NCTL. In accordance with standard procedure, we requested the other injectors to do the same.

“The NCTL has, hitherto, enjoyed smooth operations preceding this incident founding suspicion that this fire may have occurred through an illegitimate, third-party breach of the functionality of the pipeline.

“In the meantime, the relevant investigations are continuing while further information about the remote and direct causes of the fire will be communicated as soon as these become available. We ask our stakeholders to await further detailed briefing in due course.”

NCTL is a 97 kilometre, 150,000 barrels of oil per day pipeline constructed by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC). The pipeline is one of Nigeria’s major oil transportation arteries that evacuate crude from the Niger Delta to the terminals for export.It evacuates crude oil from the oil fields of OML 29 for export; starting from Nembe Creek, to a manifold at the Cawthorne Channel field on OML 18. From there, crude is evacuated to the Bonny oil terminal. This pipeline can, however, evacuate up to 600,000 barrels per day of liquids from the endpoint at Cawthorne Channel.

NCTL is currently owned by Aiteo Group, which acquired it together an oil block located oil mining lease (OML) 29 from SPDC and partners including Total and Agip. The facilities are operated by Aiteo Eastern Exploration &Production Company Limited, an arm of Aiteo Group.

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