Trans Niger Pipeline shut down again because of leaks blamed on oil theft

LAGOS — Shell Nigeria says it has shut down the 24-inch part of its Trans Niger Pipeline because of an oil leak.

The 28-inch part of the Trans Niger Pipeline has been closed since a June 19 leak caused by oil theft.

The pipeline funnels 150,000 barrels of crude oil daily.

Oil pipesA AFriday statement from Shell said the cause and size of the latest spill that led to Thursday’s closure are unclear. It’s organizing an investigation to lead to repairs and cleanup.

Shell says it loses 60,000 barrels a day to theft. Human rights groups say the company sometimes blames theft to avoid paying damages to local communities and to avert criticism of corrosion of the 48-year-old pipeline.

Oil theft is common and sometimes caused by activists critical of Shell’s cleanup record.

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