Port Harcourt, Nigeria | – Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Forcados pipeline in Nigeria will resume deliveries in September, according to an oil company that uses the line.
“We are hearing Forcados is due to return at the middle of next month,” Kola Karim, chief executive officer of Shoreline Group, said Wednesday by phone from London. “It has been a tough situation for us these past couple of months.”
The Forcados pipeline system is among oil infrastructure targeted by Nigerian militants this year. In February, Shell declared force majeure — a legal clause that allows it to stop shipments without breaching contracts — after militants blew up a line feeding the Forcados terminal, which typically exports about 200,000 barrels a day. Of that, Shoreline sends about 52,000 barrels a day.
Precious Okolobo, a Lagos-based spokesman for Shell, declined to comment on Wednesday.
While the Niger Delta Avengers, which claimed most attacks in Nigeria’s oil heartland this year, have called a halt to hostilities, other militant groups have emerged. The Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate, or NDGJM, claimed an assault this week on the Ogor-Oteri pipeline, which is run by Nigerian Petroleum Development Co. and Shoreline and was already halted following a previous attack on Forcados.
“It’s key to note that there are other groups now trying to assert themselves,” Dolapo Oni, the Lagos-based head of Ecobank Energy Research, said by phone. “Nevertheless, it shouldn’t prevent the September opening.”
Shoreline is still trying to pinpoint the location and assess the damage from Tuesday’s attack in Delta state, Karim said.
Nigeria expects to pump 1.5 million barrels a day “at best” this year, Minister of State for Petroleum Emmanuel Kachikwu said Aug. 12. The OPEC member produced about 2 million barrels a day last year.
“With Forcados, we are likely to regain output at 1.8 million barrels a day and should be able to sustain that till year-end, which is a major boost for government revenue,” Oni said.