- Forcados, Qua Iboe crudes planned from end month after halts
- Restrictions remain in place for exports of both grades
Nigeria’s efforts to ramp up oil flows gathered pace as the African country issued plans to load almost 500,000 barrels a day of two grades of crude that have been blocked for months following militant attacks on pipelines.
Shipments of Qua Iboe, the biggest export grade, and Forcados, among the largest, will resume at the end of this month with additional cargoes in October, loading programs obtained by Bloomberg show. The loading plans have scheduled 215,645 barrels a day of Forcados and 275,806 of Qua Iboe in October. Another shows nine shipments of Qua Iboe also planned in November, matching cargoes in the previous month.
Oil Minister Emmanuel Kachikwu said Sept. 19 that production has accelerated over the past several weeks amid a cease-fire with militants who had been attacking the nation’s energy infrastructure.
Africa’s biggest producer under normal circumstances, Nigeria needs to sell every barrel it can amid prices that are more than 50 percent below where they were in mid-2014 and output that’s been cut by the attacks. Production plunged to 1.44 million barrels a day last month, matching a low set in May, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Kachikwu predicted that daily output should rise to 1.8 million barrels next month and 2 million barrels by December, when most export terminals will have resumed operations.
Both Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, operators of the terminals from which Qua Iboe and Forcados are exported, still have force majeure in place for the two grades. The clause gives them the right not to meet contractual obligations.
A Shell spokesman confirmed force majeure is still in place while an Exxon spokesman didn’t immediately return an e-mail seeking comment.