Agip Halts Production in Bayelsa over Incessant Militants’ Attacks

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Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa

Just about a week after it was compelled to stop production at a gas pipeline in Ogbembiri, Southern Ijaw local government area of Bayelsa, the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, has again shut down its operations at the the Brass Oil Export Terminal, off the state’s shoreline.

The company’s facilities have recently come under serious repeated attacks from militant groups operating in the region; the latest being the bombing late Sunday of a pipeline at Ikienghenbiri community.

Eni, the parent company of NAOC, said on Wednesday that it was declaring a force majeure on oil exports from the terminal, following the continuous bombing of its facilities.

Force majeure is a legal concept that absolves companies from liabilities of contractual obligations due to factors outside its control.

A spokesperson of Eni, who confirmed the development in a response to a query, noted that the oil giant was closing its operations in the area due to circumstances beyond its control.

An earlier attack in the area on May 18 had resulted to a shutdown of some 1,000 barrels bringing a cumulative production loss to 5,200 barrels of the oil firm’s share of oil output.

It was, however, not clear how long it would take to fix the damaged gas pipeline which is pivotal to the company’s operations in the axis.

Exxon Mobil had earlier slowed down its production projections at the Nigeria’s Qua Iboe crude oil facility after it also declared force majeure on exports.

In a short e-mail on Wednesday, Eni disclosed that the oil firm’s production was cut by 4,200 barrels per day following Sunday’s attack on its pipeline in the state.

“I can confirm the attack to the Ogbaimbiri – Tebidaba pipeline, with 4,200 bop/d (Eni’s equity) of production affected.

“I can (also) confirm that a force majeure has been placed on Brass Oil Exports from May 22, 2016,” the email from Eni’s Media Relations Unit said

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