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SPDC Suspends Oil Export From Forcados Terminal

Sopuruchi Onwuka

Nigeria’s crude oil production volumes and associated foreign exchange income have taken a hit following a force majeure on export of Nigeria’s Forcados crude oil grade by Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC).

The spill occurred eight days ago at the facility operated by Shell in partnership with Total and Eni under a joint venture with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Production into the terminal and crude oil exports were stopped soon after the spill was discovered.

In the meantime, SPDC said it has procured relief materials for distribution to communities.

Declaration of force majeure protects the company from contractual penalties and obligations associated with crude oil lifting at a period when incidents affect scheduled export lifting programmes.

Shell said crude lifting has to be suspended following the disruption in production resulting from significant oil spill at Nigeria’s Forcados Terminal where Shell declared that subsea crude export pipeline caved in and caused spills.

Spills like the one at Forcados have continued to haunt Shell with community agitations and outright hostility.

Spokesman, Mr. Precious Okolobo, stated that SPDC is intensifying efforts on containment and oil recovery from the spill while also finalising repair plans.

Shell had said at the weekend that it intensified recovery of oil from the spill with the support of industry group Clean Nigeria Associates (CNA) and other oil companies.

Mr. Okolobo said SPDC has deployed specialised equipment to contain the spill and mobilised clean-up teams and contracted a specialised aircraft to join in the response.

Diving teams which inspected the 48-inch diameter export pipeline reported extensive damage that is consistent with the application of external force, the company declared.

“Following this incident, the SPDC Joint Venture is working with relevant government agencies to review the security situation around its critical assets in the Niger Delta.”

General Manager External Relations of SPDC, Igo Weli, said: “This incident is regrettable but our response is comprehensive including multiple flights over the affected area to monitor the impact and deployment of clean-up experts from within and outside Nigeria.

“Oil recovery will continue while we finalise repair plans pending the conclusion of the ongoing Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) process. We appreciate the support of the communities, regulators and security agencies who are taking part in the investigation.”


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