NNPC, NIGE­RIA’S OIL BE­HE­MOTH RECORDS N547BN LOSSES IN THREE YEARS

THISDAY - - PAGE EIGHT -

aban­don a multi­bil­lion-dol­lar gas project in Iran if it could not se­cure a waiver from U.S. sanc­tions, cast­ing fur­ther doubt on the Euro­pean-led efforts to sal­vage the nu­clear deal.

Reuters re­ported that a rapid de­cline in Venezuela’s crude pro­duc­tion has fur­ther roiled mar­kets in re­cent months.

Also global in­ven­to­ries of crude oil and re­fined prod­ucts dropped sharply in re­cent months owing to ro­bust de­mand and OPEC-led pro­duc­tion cuts.

Oil stocks are ex­pected to drop fur­ther as the peak sum­mer driv­ing sea­son nears, off­set­ting in­creases in U.S. shale out­put, ac­cord­ing to re­ports.

In Nige­ria also, ship­ments of Bonny Light crude were sus­pended yes­ter­day, af­ter an out­age prompted Shell to de­clare force ma­jeure.

The force ma­jeure, which took im­me­di­ate ef­fect, fol­lowed the shut­down of the Nembe Creek Trunk Line.

Though Shell did not dis­close the vol­ume of oil af­fected by the force ma­jeure, ex­ports of Bonny Light were ex­pected to run at around 195,000 bar­rels per day in June.

The Nembe Creek Trun­k­line, op­er­ated by Ai­teo E & P, and the Trans Niger Pipe­line (TNP) are the two ma­jor pipe­lines used by Shell and other pro­duc­ing com­pa­nies oper­at­ing in the east­ern Niger Delta to pump crude oil to the Bonny ex­port ter­mi­nal in Rivers State.

An of­fi­cial of Ai­teo, who spoke off the record, told THIS­DAY yes­ter­day that the com­pany no­ticed a drop in pres­sure, prompt­ing the shut­down.

“We are sus­pect­ing sab­o­tage but it is too early to con­clude as in­ves­ti­ga­tion is still on­go­ing,” he added.

In the western Niger Delta, the Trans-For­ca­dos pipe­line (TFP), op­er­ated by Her­itage Oil, was shut­down af­ter a leak was found on the fa­cil­ity on May 7.

The TFP is the ma­jor trunk line in the For­ca­dos Pipe­line Sys­tem with an ex­port ca­pac­ity of 400,000 bar­rels per day and the sec­ond largest net­work in the Niger Delta af­ter the Bonny pipe­line sys­tem in the east­ern Niger Delta.

In­ter­na­tional oil com­pa­nies (IOCs) and Nige­rian in­de­pen­dents oper­at­ing in the western Niger Delta lose 250,000 bar­rels per day to the clo­sure of the TFP.

Shell has not yet de­clared force ma­jeure on ex­ports of the For­ca­dos crude grade.

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