The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) said it has lifted the force majeure on its 250,000 barrels per day (bpd) Bonny export terminal with effect from Wednesday, 15 March, 2023.
The oil major 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.
A spokesperson of SPDC who did not want his name in print, announced this yesterday, saying, “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.”
In November 22, Shell had lifted force majuere declared on oil export programme 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.
Nigeria had suffered severe oil losses in the last one or two years due to the activities of oil thieves and vandals.
The country’s oil output had dropped to an all-time low of 900,000bpd in August 2022, leading to Nigeria’s knockout at some point as Africa’s largest oil producer by Angola, according to the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) Monthly Oil Market Report for September 2022.
The oil cartel stated that Nigeria’s crude oil production dropped from one million bpd recorded in July 2022 to 900, 000bd in August.
At the height of the embarrassing production underperformance, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, had lamented that Nigeria was losing about 95 per cent of oil production at the Bonny terminal to theft.
“I can tell you, in one line, just less than 200 kilometres, we had 295 illegal connections and you see the data”, Kyari had said.
He had stated 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
“What is most difficult to manage today is the issue of crude oil theft, it is real and it is happening”, the GCEO had said.
But the country is gradually recovering as production has climbed to 1.3 million bpd owing to a rash of measures jointly taken by the NNPC, private security operatives and government agencies to tackle crude theft.