200,000 Barrels Of Oil Stranded As Shell Halts Flows From Forcados

Yemisi Izuora

About 200,000 barrels of crude oil is currently stranded as oil major Shell Plc halted crude shipments from Nigeria’s Forcados export terminal.

The action is considered another blow to Nigeria which has struggled to stem falling production.

Shell Petroleum Development Co. of Nigeria Ltd. issued a notice of force majeure on Forcados shipments, effective from midday on December 21, and plans to issue a revised offtake program in due course.

More than 200,000 barrels a day of Nigerian crude normally pass through the terminal.

The shutdown comes just a month after Shell said it was restoring flows from the nearby Bonny facility. Force majeure is a clause that allows companies to skip contractual obligations following issues outside of their control.

The stoppage occurred during replacement of one of the two single point moorings at Forcados, with the positioning of a jack-up barge preventing tanker access, export operations and resumption of full production into the terminal, Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. said in a notice.

The presence of the jack-up offshore support vessel Seacor Strength at the Forcados moorings was confirmed by ship tracking data monitored by Bloomberg.

Neither the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Limited,  NNPC nor Shell gave an indication of the likely duration of the stoppage. The force majeure suggests it will be long enough to affect four remaining cargoes that a port agent report seen by Bloomberg shows are due to be loaded this month.

Since Shell announced the month-long force majeure at the Bonny site in October, only one ship has loaded a cargo from that terminal.

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