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Dow Jones Newswires: Shell: Force Majeure Remains On Nigeria Forcados Jul Exports

July 12, 2007: 07:25 AM EST

LONDON -(Dow Jones)- A force majeure notice imposed on July crude oil exports from the Nigeria Forcados terminal remains in place, a Royal Dutch Shell PLC ( RDSB) spokesman said Thursday.

However, a small amount of fresh oil production has started from the field.

“There are small quantities being produced – between 1% and 3% on a daily basis of total capacity,” said Rainer Winzenried. “We cannot say we have resumed production – that would be totally overdone.

“These are really very small quantities so far,” he said.

The Forcados field has the capacity to produce some 380,000 barrels of crude a day, so 1% would represent approximately 3,800 barrels a day.

Fresh production started to trickle through over the course of the last week, according to Shell.

“But to fully restart production there (at Forcados) would be a big step, its an ongoing process,” Winzenried added.

Two cargoes of Forcados crude, to be taken from stored oil, were indicated for July in provisional loading programs. However, force majeure was declared May 25 on liftings from the facility, amid increased security concerns after a wave of attacks on oil installations on the Niger Delta by militant groups.

Winzenried was not able to give any indication on when the force majeure would be lifted or whether cargoes would be exported in August.

The Forcados field was shut in February 2006, after repeated attacks by militants forced Shell Petroleum Development Co., or SPDC, to suspend production entirely.

Forcados is owned by SPDC of which Royal Dutch Shell owns 30%. State-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Co. holds a 55% stake, Total SA (TOT) 10% and Eni SpA (E) unit Agip has a 5% stake.

(in barrels a day)
Forcados Terminal
& EA Platform           SPDC -a    465,600      1H ’07 -b
Olero Creek              CNL -c     70,000      n/a
(Locale unavailable)    Agip        15,000      n/a
Ogbainbiri Flowstation  Agip        37,000      n/a
TOTAL                              587,000 -d
a. SPDC is the Shell Petroleum Development Co., a joint venture operated by Shell, which owns 30%, and with the Nigerian National Petroleum Co. with 55%, Total SA (TOT) with 10% and Eni SpA (E) unit Agip with 5%.

b. Estimate from Shell and the Nigerian oil ministry.

c. CNL is Chevron Nigeria Ltd., which is a joint venture operated by Chevron Corp. (CVX), which owns 40%, and NNPC with 60%.

d. Total amount shut-in is about 23% of Nigeria’s estimated effective production capacity of 2.5 million barrels a day. The output capacity is based on an estimate by International Energy Agency.

-By Angela Henshall, Dow Jones Newswires; +44 (0)20 7842 9285; [email protected] 
  (END) Dow Jones Newswires
  07-12-07 0725ET
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