Crude Oil Ship-Loading Obstructed by Shells’ Force Majeure at Forcados
……….. Gas supply to power plants in the western axis also disrupted
There are fears that with the force majeure issued by Royal Dutch Shell on Wednesday on exports of Nigerian Forcados crude oil, after a malfunctioning barge obstructed tanker path may affect, four ships scheduled to load this month.
A Bloomberg report said since Shell halted crude shipments from Nigeria’s Forcados export terminal in Delta State, a month ago, saying “it was restoring flow from its Bonny island facility,” only one ship has loaded a cargo from that terminal.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) has confirmed disruption of gas supply to power plants in the western axis due to issues with the Trans-Forcados Pipeline (TFP).
Bloomberg said more than 200,000 barrels a day of crude oil that flows through the terminal are at risk.
Force majeure is a clause that allows companies to skip contractual obligations following issues outside of their control.
According to the report, the stoppage occurred during replacement of one of the two single point moorings at Forcados, with the positioning of a jack-up barge preventing tanker access, export operations and resumption of full production into the terminal, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd said in a notice.
The presence of the jack-up offshore support vessel Seacor Strength at the Forcados moorings was confirmed by ship tracking data monitored by Bloomberg.
NGC had issued the notice of gas curtailment due to Abysmal System Pressure Levels that must be managed to avoid collapse of the gas grid.
The TFP was breached on December 17, 2021 and has also impacted SEPLAT’s production and other producers. Chevron Nigeria Ltd (CNL) also lost a compressor because of technical issues, said NGC.
Due to these issues, the letter from NGC stated that there is a deferment and unavailability of gas to off-takers, of about 250 million standard cubic feet per day (MMscfd) of gas from the pipeline network.
Five power plants operated by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) comprising Olorunsogo, Omotosho, Sapele, Ihovbor and Geregu is said to have been affected by the gas shortage. The reports say while Omotosho has shut down, Geregu and Ihovbor are getting less gas supply.