Royal Dutch Shell's onshore Nigeria subsidiary saw a 41% rise in the number of crude oil spills due to theft or pipeline sabotage in 2019, the group said in its annual report.
Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) also recorded a rise in the volume of oil spilt in the Niger Delta as a result of illegal activity to 2 000 tonnes in 2019 from 1 600 tonnes a year earlier.
Of a total 164 SPDC spills of more than 100 kilograms in the delta, 157 were due to theft and sabotage, Shell said. That compared with 111 spills due to sabotage in 2018.
SPDC is a joint venture of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which holds a 55% stake, Shell, its operator, with 30%, France's Total with 10% and Italy's Eni with 5%.
It produces around 1 million barrels of oil per day and operates more than 6,000 kilometres of pipelines in the delta.