Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), has announced the lifting of the force majeure on its 250,000 barrels per day (b/pd) Bonny export terminal effective from Wednesday, 15 March, 2023.
One of the company’s spokespersons, who gave this hint said: “The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), operator of the SPDC joint venture, has lifted the force majeure on Bonny export programme with effect from Wednesday, March 15, 2023.
“The force majeure was declared on March 3, 2022 following a significant decline in crude receipts at the Bonny Oil and Gas Terminal”, he added
Last November, the international oil company (IOC) declared a force majeure on oil export production from the terminal following a leak on the 150,000bpd Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL), one of the two pipelines that feed crude to the Bonny Light terminal.
Following the force majeure declaration on the terminal and associated incidents in the upstream sector in the past few years, Nigeria has suffered severe oil losses, especially due to the activities of oil thieves and vandals.
For instance, the country’s oil output had dropped to an all-time low of 900,000bpd in August 2022, thereby causing it to lose its position as Africa’s top oil producer to Angola.
According to the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mallam Mele Kyari, a combination of incidents in the industry associated with terminals and pipeline vandalism led to Nigeria losing about 95 per cent of oil production at the Bonny terminal to theft.
He lamented that Nigeria was losing nearly all the oil output at Bonny, the town after which its premium oil grade, Bonny Light, is named after and a key export point for the country
Kyari explained: “I can tell you, in one line, just less than 200 kilometres, we had 295 illegal connections and you see the data. What is most difficult to manage today is the issue of crude oil theft, it is real and it is happening.”
Following sundry measures undertaken by the Federal Government to protect the upstream assets from attacks which are yielding results, the country is gradually recovering as production has climbed to 1.3 million bpd.
It would be recalled that Shell had declared the force majeure on March 3, 2022, following a significant decline in crude receipts at the Bonny Oil and Gas Terminal caused by rampant crude theft and vandalism.