Shell to leave oil export terminal in Niger Delta shut
Despite oil prices hovering above 90 dollars a barrel, Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell declared in Lagos, south-west Nigeria Tuesday that its Forcadoes oil export terminal will remain shut.
Shell declared a "Force Majeure" on the export facility on January 11, following the vandalism of two of its pipelines which carry crude oil to the offshore facility for export.
Force Majeure allows an oil company to suspend contractual obligations to clients following unforeseen or uncontrollable events without incurring penalties.
Shell said in Lagos that the Force Majeure on the Forcadoes oil export terminal would remain in operation until the host community in the Niger Delta allows the company to effect repairs on the damaged pipelines.
Its spokesman in Lagos, Precious Okolobo, said that the host communities had prevented the company's engineers from repairing the pipelines.
He explained that "the communities were aggrieved because they were not represented at the Delta State Oil Communities Development Commission," a Delta State agency charged with the responsibility of addressing the infrastructure needs of communities in the state.
Okolobo said Shell in July 2007 lifted an earlier Force Majeure on the terminal after more than a year.
He said that "due to incessant attacks, the company had to cut back 100,000 barrels out of the 380,000 barrels per day of crude oil exports from the Forcadoes terminal."
Okolobo said that the latest attack sabotaged Shell's operations because the company could not convey crude to the terminal for shipment. ( Dpa )