Ejiofor Alike with agency report
Nigeriaâ€™s crude oil exports are set to surpass two million barrels per day (bpd) in August, the highest in 17 months, as the countryâ€™s oil and gas industry nears a full recovery from attacks by the Niger Delta militants that crippled production in 2016.
It is expected that if the ramp-up in Nigeriaâ€™s production is sustained, it will put further pressure on efforts by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to trim output in support of oil prices.
Exports of 2.02 million bpd on 67 cargoes are scheduled so far in August, according to preliminary loading plans compiled by Reuters, along with an additional 97,000 bpd of Akpo condensate.
The plan is the highest since March 2016, which was scheduled at roughly the same level until a militant attack on the Trans Forcados Pipeline shut down Forcados exports in February of that year.
Forcados loadings resumed in late May, and the operator, Shell lifted force majeure on the grade early this month.
While Bonny Light, also operated by Shell, is now under force majeure due to a pipeline leak on one of its two export lines, the grade is still flowing with loading delays of roughly 10 days, Reuters quoted traders as saying.
The August plan compared with 1.84 million bpd initially planned for July, but loading delays on Bonga, Bonny Light and Qua Iboe pushed several of the July cargoes into August.
While early 2016 exports were set at 2 million bpd, Nigeriaâ€™s oil production has not hit that level since October 2015.
Crude oil theft in the oil-producing Niger Delta leads to frequent shutdowns, limiting output, and militant attacks throughout 2016 hobbled the entire oil industry.
It is expected that eight cargoes of Chevronâ€™s Agbami or 252,000 bpd will be loaded in August, while two cargoes or 61,000 bpd of Totalâ€™s Amenam will be shipped for export.
The loading schedule also showed that one cargo or 31,000 bpd of Antan crude will be exported; seven cargoes or 215,000 bpd of Shellâ€™s Bonga; seven cargoes or 226,000 bpd of Bonny Light and five cargoes or 129,000 bpd of Agipâ€™s Brass River will be exported.
It is planned that one cargo of EA crude or 31,000 bpd will be shipped; four cargoes or 129,000 bpd of ExxonMobilâ€™s Erha grade will be exported, while Chevron will export six cargoes of 184,000 bpd from the Escravos.
The data also showed that 284,000 bpd of crude or 10 cargoes would be shipped for exports from Forcados.
Others are: one cargo of 29,000 bpd from Okono; one cargo or 29,000 bpd from Okwori; one cargo or 31,000 bpd of Pennington; eight cargoes of Qua Iboe or 245,000 bpd; three cargoes of Usan or 92,000 bpd; one cargo of Okwuibome crude or 29,000 bpd; one cargo of Yoho or 31,000 bpd.
The total crude oil exports for August, the data showed, is 2,018,000 bpd.