…Trans Forcados oil pipeline down for at least 10 more days
Oscarline Onwuemenyi, with agency reports
23 October 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – Declining oil production and export volumes due to militancy and large-scale crude theft cut the Nigerian government’s gross revenue in September by about 12% from August to N279.75 billion ($8 billion), the finance ministry said Friday.
The ministry said that despite the rally in global oil prices averaging $48.43/b in June, Nigeria’s export volume declined by 1.15 million barrels in that month, resulting in a $46.52 million drop in oil export sales for the government.
Nigeria’s oil exports sales are accrued to the government’s account two or three months later.
“Force majeure was declared at the Bonny Terminal and there was a subsisting force majeure at the Forcados Terminal,” the ministry said in a statement. “Shut-in and shutdown of pipeline for repairs and maintenance also contributed to the drop in revenue.”
Oil exports account for about 80% of the Nigerian government revenue.
Nigerian oil output plummeted to near 30-year lows of around 1.4 million b/d in May from 2.2 million b/d earlier in the year as attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta rose at an alarming pace amid resurgent militancy.
The Nigerian Navy said Friday that it has arrested 13 suspected oil thieves who illegally tapped into pipelines in the Escravos area of the Niger Delta, to siphon about 900 mt of crude oil.
“The suspects and exhibits have been handed over to officials of (state security) for necessary action,” Navy spokesman Christian Ezekobe said in a statement, adding that the military was determined to eliminate crude oil theft and other criminal activities in the restive Niger Delta region.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Trans Forcados Pipeline will be down for at least 10 more days for cleaning and testing following repairs, the chairman of energy company Shoreline, which pumps crude from the stream, said.
Kola Karim said the tanker that loaded Forcados oil last week, the Everbright, took crude that was already at the export terminal, and new flows would not begin until the repaired pipeline had been cleaned and tested.
“The Trans Forcados pipeline has not started yet,” Karim said, adding that it was being cleaned and tested.
Once the pipeline restarted, he said, it would take seven to 10 days to bring gas flows from Forcados back to capacity.
Forcados crude has been under force majeure from operator Shell since a militant attack on the subsea pipeline in February.