UPDATE 2-Exxon warning adds to Nigeria oil output problems

Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:42pm IST

Related Topics

Stocks

   

* Exxon calls force majeure on Nigeria's biggest oil grade

* Shell's force majeure on Forcados exports in place

* Raft of output problems hit Nigeria in recent weeks

By Joe Brock and Emma Farge

ABUJA/GENEVA, Nov 21 (Reuters) - ExxonMobil on Wednesday became the fourth oil major in a month to warn customers over delays to Nigerian oil and gas exports, adding to a raft of problems for Africa's biggest energy producer caused by oil spills, theft and flooding.

Royal Dutch Shell lifted on Wednesday its force majeure on Nigeria's benchmark Bonny Light crude oil exports, easing some of the supply concerns.

But three of Nigeria main oil grades; Qua Iboe, Brass River and Forcados are still under force majeure. These oil streams together account for around 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) or around a third of total Nigerian exports.

France's Total and Italian oil firm Eni have also declared force majeure, on gas and oil supplies, respectively.

Nigeria is among the world's top 10 crude oil exporters and usually ships around 2 million bpd, but a major fire caused by oil theft, Exxon's spill and flooding have severely hit output.

Oil traders said that loading delays are worsening and are now up to two weeks for some cargoes.

Exxon's Nigerian unit declared force majeure on Qua Iboe crude oil exports on Wednesday due to outages caused by a pipeline oil spill on Nov. 9, which witnesses said had spread 20 miles down the coastline.

"There are issues with two areas in a pipeline resulting in hydrocarbon release offshore," an oil trader said.

Mark Ward, the managing director of Exxon Mobil's local unit, has said a clean up had been mobilised, and he apologised to affected communities for the spill.

Shell's outages were prompted by a huge fire on an oil tanker being used to steal oil last month. The Anglo-Dutch major shut another pipeline in Imo River on Oct. 31 due to theft damage and deferred 25,000 bpd.

Oil theft is a major problem in the winding creeks and waterways of the Niger Delta, where it is easy to conceal boats and illegal refineries in the dense mangroves. Nigeria estimates around 150,000 bpd is stolen, much of which is sold abroad.

Total last week restarted production from its 90,000 bpd OML 58 block, which was shut down a month ago due to severe flooding in the Delta swamplands.

Eni declared force majeure earlier this month on Brass River oil loadings due to floods, causing cargo delays of eight to 10 days.

FILED UNDER:

Politics

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Fund Raising

Fund Raising

Flipkart raises $700 million in fresh funding.   Full Article 

Reforms Push

Reforms Push

Modi may order insurance, coal reforms if vote delayed - officials.  Full Article 

Reuters Exclusive

Reuters Exclusive

India looks to sway Americans with nuclear power insurance plan  Full Article 

To Boost Growth

To Boost Growth

Crank up public spending to revive growth - chief economic adviser.   Full Article 

Bold Steps

Bold Steps

SpiceJet rescue plan marks bold bet on Indian aviation recovery.   Full Article 

New Airline

New Airline

Tata, Singapore Air venture Vistara to take off on Jan 9.  Full Article 

Online Sales

Online Sales

Knock knock. Who's there? Amazon's best-selling holiday author.  Full Article 

Hacking Attack

Hacking Attack

N.Korea says did not hack Sony, wants joint probe with U.S.  Full Article 

Reuters Poll

Reuters Poll

BSE Sensex to hit 32,980 by December 2015  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage