LONDON , May 24, 2007 (Dow Jones Newswires)
U.S. oil major Chevron Corp. (CVX) said Thursday that 51,000 barrels a day of oil production in Nigeria was being put back into service after being shut early this month due to militant attacks.
"We're in restart mode. We believe it was safe to do so," Chevron spokesman Michael Barrett said.
The production includes all 15,000 barrels a day shut three weeks ago at an offshore facility stemming from a militant attack in which six Chevron employees were kidnapped. Those employees are still being held.
Another 36,000 barrels a day is restarting at the onshore Abiteye flow station. About 6,000 barrels a day of production there remains shut, Barrett said.
Chevron has been hit by a series of assaults over the past few weeks, forcing it to withdraw at least 200 of its workers and contractors starting two weeks ago from Nigeria's offshore. This personnel withdrawal is still in place, Barrett said.
Militant attacks, which have also hit Italian energy major Eni Spa (E) in the past few weeks, are expected to continue in the run-up to the inauguration of Nigeria's incoming president Tuesday.
The return of 51,000 barrels a day of Chevron's output will put total production shut in Nigeria, Africa's biggest oil producer, at 740,000 barrels a day, or about 30% of the country's effective output capacity.
TABLE OF ESTIMATED SHUT-IN NIGERIAN OIL OUTPUT (Output in barrels a day) FACILITY COMPANY LOST OUTPUT RETURN DATE Forcados Terminal & EA Platform SPDC -a 477,000 1H '07 -b Ekulama-1 Flow Station SPDC 9,000 n/a (Cawthorne Channel) Olero Creek CNL -c 70,000 n/a Ebite Flow Station CNL 6,000 n/a (locale unavailable) Agip 15,000 n/a Okono and Okpoh Agip 65,000 n/a Brass Terminal Agip 98,000 n/a TOTAL 740,000 -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 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 is about 30% of Nigeria's estimated effective production capacity of 2.5 million barrels a day. The output capacity figure is based on estimates from International Energy Agency.
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