An oil company official confirmed on Monday that Shell Nigeria resumed exports of the nation’s Forcados grade of crude oil on Sunday.
According to Reuters, this came after loadings of the medium sweet grade were halted about a month ago due to a probable leak at the export terminal.
The grade’s exports were stopped on the evening of July 12 when employees noticed odours close to a single buoy mooring where oil was being transferred onto a vessel. The grade was expected to export 220,000 barrels per day in July.
Large tankers can anchor offshore at a single buoy mooring, which functions like a floating loading dock for unloading cargo.
Despite no force majeure being announced, Shell acknowledged that injections into the terminal had been reduced as a result of the report.
The Shell spokesperson stated that a combined investigation between business and community representatives, as well as government agencies, will ascertain the reason for the suspension.
Nigeria became the second-largest contributor to the decline in the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries crude oil output in July as a result of the suspension of Forcados loadings.
The latest production numbers from the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission show that Nigeria’s average daily oil production decreased by 13.6% to 1.08 million barrels per day in July 2023 from 1.25 million barrels per day recorded in June.
The government has a production target of 1.69 million barrels per day in the 2023 budget, thus the most recent production level represents a significant setback. The amount produced is also far less than the 1.7 million barrels per day production quota that OPEC granted to the country.
By the fourth quarter of this year, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited expects oil production to reach 1.8 million barrels per day as production-boosting initiatives start to bear fruit.