Exports of Nigeria’s Forcados crude oil grade resumed on Sunday, as confirmed by a spokesperson from Shell (SHEL.L) on Monday, roughly a month after loadings of the medium sweet grade were suspended because of a potential leak at the export terminal.
According to insider sources, the export of Forcados crude, which was initially set to ship 220,000 barrels per day (bpd) in July, came to a halt on the evening of July 12. Workers had observed fumes in the vicinity of a single buoy mooring, which serves as a floating loading facility for transferring oil to vessels anchored offshore.
While Shell acknowledged the reduction in injections into the terminal following the incident, no formal declaration of force majeure was made. The company’s spokesperson emphasized that a collaborative investigation involving company representatives, local community stakeholders, and government agencies would determine the root cause of the suspension.
This disruption in Forcados crude loadings significantly contributed to Nigeria’s position as the second-largest contributor to the decline in OPEC crude oil output for July, as indicated by a Reuters survey.
On 25 March 2014, Shell Nigeria declared a force majeure on crude oil exports from its Forcados crude oil depot which stopped operations due to a leak in its underwater pipeline, a clause freeing the company from contractual obligations as a circumstance beyond its control happened.
Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) is the largest fossil fuel company in Nigeria, which operates over 6,000 kilometres (3,700 mi) of pipelines and flowlines, 87 flowstations, 8 natural gas plants and more than 1,000 producing wells.
In 1956, Shell Nigeria discovered the first commercial oil field at Oloibiri in the Niger Delta and started oil exports in 1958.
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