- ‘Nigeria lost 25 million barrels of crude in March’
About 25 million barrels of crude oil were shut-in at four production terminals within one month as a result of various challenges at the terminals.
Specifically, the Forcados, Qua Iboe, Bonny and Bonga oil production terminals shut-in millions of crude in March 2017 due to challenges like force majeure, poor pipeline integrity, leaks or turn around maintenance.
Officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation told our correspondent in Abuja on Monday that the challenges were the key inhibiting factors that dragged crude oil production performance in March and other months.
The PUNCH had reported exclusively that the total volume of crude oil produced in Nigeria had been reducing since January this year, leading to a cumulative loss of about N131.8bn in less than three months.
The latest industry data from the national oil firm showed that the force majeure declared at the Forcados terminal since February 21, 2016 was still in place up till March this year, while about 314,687 barrels per day of crude was shut-in in March 2017 due to the continuous shutdown of the 48-inch crude export line.
This implies that about 9,755,297 barrels of crude was shut-in at the Forcados terminal in March 2017 alone as a result of the force majeure at the terminal.
A force majeure is a standard clause that exempts the parties to a contract from fulfilling their contractual obligations for causes that cannot be anticipated and/or are beyond their control.
At the Oua Iboe terminal, the NNPC said, “Some production wells remained shut-in since February 2017 at Ubit 131J for gas curtailment and Usari FC wells for QIT Tank top management due to some pipeline integrity issues.”
It stated that an average of 220,000bpd was shut-in throughout the month of March 2017 at the terminal. This means that an average of about 6,820,000 barrels was shut-in at the terminal in the month.
For the Bonny terminal, the corporation stated that the Trans Niger Pipeline was shut down on March 15, 2017 as a result of a leak at the Oloma axis, adding that this resulted in a shut-in of about 129,255bpd for seven days.
Production began ramping up on March 21, 2017 after repair works were completed at the terminal.
Calculations showed that the estimated total volume of crude that was shut-in during the seven-day period at the terminal was about 904,785 barrels.