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BP’s Angolan Plutonio Oil Exports Disrupted After Marlin Attack

BP Plc declared force majeure on exports of Angolan Plutonio crude after a Marlin fish damaged a hose connected to the floating, production, storage and offloading facility, according to a company official.

The FPSO is not completely shut down and is producing at a reduced rate, Robert Wine, a London-based spokesman for BP, said by phone today. Force majeure is a legal step that protects a company from liability when it can’t fulfill a contract for reasons beyond its control. The Atlantic blue marlin can reach a size of 14 feet (4.3 meters) and weigh up to 1,985 pounds (900 kilograms), according to the National Geographic website.

BP plans to shut in March the Greater Plutonio project, which has a capacity to pump 180,000 barrels a day worth about $20 million daily, for four weeks of maintenance, Paulo Pizarro, the Luanda-based BP official said Feb. 5 by e-mail. Output from the fields was already reduced in January because of technical issues, he said.

“While the extent of the latest issues with the floating platform and crude quality is unclear, industry experts say that the extensive March maintenance scheduled should subsequently restore production to more normal levels,” the International Energy Agency said today in its monthly Oil Market Report.

Angola plans to export four one-million barrel cargo of Plutonio crude in February, while no shipments are scheduled for March, loading programs obtained by Bloomberg News show.

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