Shell declares force majeure on Nigerian crude grades

(Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell has declared force majeure on exports of the Bonny and Forcados crude grades for reasons including damage caused by theft, the company said on Monday, potentially affecting more than one fifth of Nigeria’s oil exports.

“Effective 1400 hours, Friday 19th October 2012, SPDC (Shell Production Development Corporation) JV declared force majeure on Bonny and Forcados loadings,” a Shell spokesman said.

Bonny Light and Forcados are two of Nigeria’s most important oil grades and in October they represented exports of 427,000 barrels per day, of the country’s total exports 2.048 million barrels per day.

The spokesman said loadings of Forcados were affected by damage caused by suspected bunkering – the term for oil theft – on the Trans Forcados Pipeline and the Brass Creek trunkline.

“Bonny loadings are affected as result of production deferment caused by the fire incident on a bunkering ship on the Bomu-Bonny trunkline and production deferment from a third party producer because of flooding,” he said in a statement.

Efforts were being made to repair the pipelines as soon as possible, the statement said.

Shell’s Nigerian unit shut its Bonny oil pipeline and deferred 150,000 barrels per day of production after oil thieves caused a fire, the company said at the end of September.

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