Shell Declares Force Majeure on Nigerian Production

Shell has declared force majeure on up to one million barrels daily of crude oil exports from Nigeria's Bonny Light and Forcados terminals for at least the next 14 days since the company cannot meet its contractual obligations due to circumstances beyond its control. The force majeure follows recent ethnic violence in the Niger Delta that has killed one ChevronTexaco contract employee and many other locals. Earlier this week ChevronTexaco declared force majeure on its 350,000 barrels per day Escravos exports. Bonny Light exports are typically around 550,000 bpd while Forcados exports about 450,000 bpd. Loadings of both crudes were not expected to halt immediately but are likely to be slowed due to production constraints.

The Escravos oil export terminal is expected to close by Saturday after a military order to evacuate the area due to political unrest. All civilians will have until March 22 to evacuate the area so military forces can deal with the situation.