ChevronTexaco has closed a crude pipeline transporting oil from the Malongo area to its export terminal in Cabinda, Angola after a leak, a company official said stated. The official said the leak, which was discovered last Thursday, had been plugged but the company was still keeping the 50,000 barrels per day pipeline shut for observation.
"The pipeline is not operational, I can't tell you when it will be opened but the engineers have by-passed this line to another line, so the production is not affected," the official said. He said production from the Malongo area was completely shut for 2-3 days when the leak was first discovered on June 13. Industry estimates crude production from Block O, which includes the Malongo area, to be around 450,000 bpd. "Once we discovered the source of the leak, we were able to bring back operations. The leak was clamped within hours by our own divers," the official said. He said two holes were discovered in the pipeline and both were quickly fixed because they were close to the export jetty.
But a total of about nine barrels of crude was spilled into the waters around the Malongo export terminal. The official said the crude spill was cleaned up by the weekend with little damage to the environment.
ChevronTexaco is the operator of the Block 0 concession which comprises 36 major fields and the partners in the block are Sonangol with 14 percent, TotalFinaElf with 10 percent and Agip with 9.8 percent.