ExxonMobil, one of the international oil companies operating in Nigeria, has shut down production at its Qua Iboe crude terminal in the Niger Delta.
According to Reuters, the closure of the crude terminal was followed by an evacuation of staff of the oil company, following threats from Niger Delta militants.
Earlier, Shell Nigeria Petroleum and Exploration Company (SNEPco), declared force majeure – a legal clause that allows it to stop shipments without breaching contracts – last week, following continued attacks on its Nembe creek trunkline in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
ExxonMobil had also declared force majeure after a drilling rig, experiencing mechanical difficulties, damaged the pipeline it jointly owns with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
It resumed production earlier in the week, only to shut down midweek, following the threat.
In a statement issued by Shell last week, it said the clause, which originally means a “superior force”, was invoked, following a leak at the Nembe creek, which may result to more unavoidable accidents.
The company added that repairs on the 90-kilometre trunk line are being carried out by AITEO Eastern E&P Company, with no record on when the repair will be concluded.
In February, Shell also declared force majeure after an attack on a pipeline feeding the Forcados terminal, which typically exports about 200,000 barrels a day.
International Energy Agency (IEA) estimated in April that Nigeria could lose an estimated $1 billion in revenue by May, when it expects repairs on Forcados to be completed.
Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum, had said Nigeria was losing 800,000 barrels on a daily basis as a result of the activities of militants.
Sources however say Nigeria’s production has fallen to one million barrels, with condensate ramping it up 1.4 million.
The current disruption caused by a group called the Niger Delta avengers, could bring Nigeria’s oil output to new lows, as the country is currently producing less than Angola, the largest exporter in Africa.
Source: The Cable