Shell's Forcados Oil Terminal Restart Lifts Nigeria Export

Andrew Cummings
June 9, 2017

A spokesperson for the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd said the company lifted force majeure, a contractual condition related to circumstances beyond the control of the parties involved, for exports from the Forcados terminal in Nigeria following repairs to an export artery. The producer club said on May 25 that it will keep its collective output restricted by 1.2-million bpd until the end of the first quarter next year.

Seplat announced that it is actively pursuing alternative crude oil evacuation options for production at OMLs 4, 38 and 41 and potential strategies to further grow and diversify production in order to reduce over reliance on particular third party operated export system in the future.

OPEC has pledged to cut nearly 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) to help reduce global inventories. Shipments this month will average about 250,000 barrels per day, according to loading program compiled by Bloomberg. The return of the grade will only add to that, he said. The Trans-Forcados pipeline was first attacked by the Niger Delta Avengers in February 2016, the first attack on a subsea pipeline in the country.

While the NDA threatened to widen its campaign this January, the "hard knocks" promised by the group didn't materialise, as the government increasingly put an emphasis on finding a negotiated settlement and resumed suspended payments to ex-militants under an amnesty programme.

According to figures published by pricing agency S&P Global Platts, Nigerian crude oil production was 1.73 million barrels per day, an increase of about 5 percent, or 80,000 barrels per day, from April.

The loss of Forçados barrels had the single biggest impact on Nigerian oil production of any grade the country produces. Forcados' daily loading capacity is 400,000 barrels. Nigeria, like Libya, is exempt from the cuts and has made no secret of its plans to ramp up production to more than 2 million bpd, boosting its production capacity to 2.5 million bpd over the next three years.

The news would not make the rest of OPEC happy: global oil prices have stubbornly remained around US$50 a barrel despite an agreement to extend production cuts until the end of March 2018.

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