Chevron: 51,000 b/d of Nigeria Production on Way Back to Service

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.

                (Output in barrels a day) 

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. 

Copyright (c) 2007 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.