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Pipeline security in the Niger Delta. Image courtesy of Royal Dutch Shell.

The Nigerian unit of Royal Dutch Shell is said to be containing an oil spill in the Niger Delta. Late last week the Nigerian military reported liquid jetting out of the pipeline.

Oil companies in Nigeria have to mitigate risks of oil theft, sabotage, and leaks from aging pipelines that have been hurting profits for years.

The oil spill was discovered by the Nigerian military joint task force (JTF) near Adamakiri in Rivers State while they were hunting for illegal refining operations.

“An assessment of the spot revealed that a brownish liquid substance was observed jetting out from an opening on the pipeline. The Commanding Officer … attributed the leakage to corrosion on the pipeline.” a statement from the JTF said.

A spokesperson from Shell has said it is too early to determine the cause of the leak.

Shell is currently  facing legal action in a UK court on behalf of 11,000 members of the Niger Delta Bodo community, who claim Shell is responsible for spilling 500,000 barrels in 2008.

To date, Shell has admitted liability for two spills in the Bodo region but estimates the volume is far lower.

According to Shell, operational problems in Nigeria have cost the company $250 million in the second quarter of 2013 alone.