The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) operated Joint Venture has shut down the Obigbo gas plant in Rivers State due to encroachment on the right-of-way of gas pipelines. The company took the action on November 1, 2013 on discovering that different types of buildings and structures have been erected on high pressure gas pipelines thereby exposing the occupants to considerable health and safety risk.
Some 40 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (MMscf/d) is shut in, and supply to industrial consumers and power plants has been affected. SPDC JV reiterated that it took the shutdown decision in the interest of public safety, as the buildings and structures, being directly above buried high pressure gas lines violate the pipeline design conditions and pose an unacceptable safety risk to the occupants.
SPDC JV is working with the Rivers State Government on options to address the challenge. In 2011, the company embarked on an enlightenment campaign in Rivers and Bayelsa states highlighting the dangers of encroaching on the right–of-way of pipelines and facilities. The latest phase of the campaign began on radio and television stations in the two states this month.