Shell is shutting down production at its 200,000 barrel-per-day Bonga oilfield, 120km off the Nigerian coast, after an oil leak.
Shell said the leak happened yesterday during a routine operation to transfer oil from the Bonga floating production storage and offloading vessel to a tanker. Early indications showed that less than 40,000 barrels of oil had leaked in total, the company said. It was now in the process of shutting down production at the Bonga field as a precautionary measure.
"We are sorry this leak has happened. As soon as we became aware of it, we stopped the flow of oil and mobilised our own resources, as well as industry expertise, to ensure its effects are minimised," said Shell Nigeria Country Chair Mutiu Sunmonu.
"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," Sunmonu said.
A Shell spokesman said that the flow of oil has been halted on all three of the platform's export lines where it is believed that the leak occurred. An investigation will be launched into the reasons for the leak, he said, without giving a timeframe for the restart of production.