Nigerian Crude Export Falls Further

Nigeria's economic status is not smiling in the least. Crude oil, the country's main economic stay,keeps on suffering set backs on international market. Nigeria's crude oil export for November may have been slightly affected, as Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) operated Joint Venture declared unexpected war on exports from Forcados Terminal, thereby shutting-in about 150,000 barrels per


The Corporate Media Relations Manager, SPDC, Precious Okolobo, who confirmed this in a statement to newsmen, said force majeure was effective 15:00hrs, Nigerian time on September 30, 2015, following a leak that was detected on the Trans Forcados Pipeline (TFP). The leak, according to him, has therefore affected crude receipts into Forcados Terminal, which is operated by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC.) Although, he did not disclose the amount of crude shut-in, Forcados has the capacity to export about 150,000 bpd.

This is coming as indications emerged that Nigeria’s crude oil exports may fall by about 10 per cent in November, as loading were assessed to be on the lower scale. The provisional loading programmes showed that Nigeria plans to export a total of 56.66 million barrels of oil, or 1.89 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil in November, which is a decline from the 63.1 million barrels, or 2.04 million bpd, planned initially for October loading. Shell had earlier on September 2nd lifted the force majure on its Bonny Light grade, thereby recovering about 320,000 barrels per day (bpd) of the nation’s oil exports after about one week delay.

The two major trunk lines-Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) and Nembe Creek Trunkline (NCTL) earlier shut by the oil multinational was immediately repaired and operations resumed to aid October export programmes. Shell has continued to record oil leakages in its operational area, leading to incessant oil spills that trigger community agitations. But the oil multinational claimed that more of the spills were cause by sabotage act from the local, while operational failure only responsible for about 25 per cent of the spill.

The company’s latest briefing note stated that crude oil theft, sabotage and illegal refining are the main sources of pollution in the Niger Delta today and were the cause of 75 per cent of spill incidents from pipelines in 2014. “An average of 37,000 barrels per day (bpd) were stolen from the SPDC JV network in 2014, with an additional 110,000 bpd of production deferred due to illegal interference with pipelines and other illegal activities such as theft of well head equipment,” it stated.

To reduce the number of operational spills, Shell said, it focused on implementing a work programme to appraise, maintain and replace key sections of pipeline. “132 km of new pipelines were installed during 2014, bringing the total for the last four years to more than 900km,” it stated, adding that, “the SPDC JV pipeline network is covered by surveillance contracts to ensure that spills are discovered and responded to as quickly as possible. There are also regular over-flights to detect new theft points.”

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