Nigerian Production Recovering

Nigerian production is returning to close to normal levels and is within approximately 300,000 bpd as production comes back onstream following shut downs due to ethnic violence in the Niger Delta region. Shell has brought forward cargo loadings of the Forcados crude as production had recovered more quickly than anticipated. "Most cargoes will load between three and five days earlier than expected," a source said. Shell declared force majeure on export loadings from its Forcados terminal in March. Delays were initially expected to be between three and 14 days and were later extended by around 10 days. Shell's Forcados field is estimated to be pumping close to 300,000 bpd, with an effective closure of 150,000 bpd of normal output.

Bonny Light and Escravos, as well as Forcados were disrupted by the violence. Production of Shell's Bonny Light crude was relatively unaffected as the oil major was able to increase production in areas not affected by ethnic violence and output was believed to be around capacity of around 500,000 bpd.

A spokesman for ChevronTexaco said that the Escravos oilfield had recovered to "very close" to 310,000 bpd, but would not be ramped back up to the 440,000 bpd produced prior to the shut-in in March until it was certain it was safe to do so.

TotalFinaElf is not expected to resume production of 7,500 bpd from its Upomami field until after Nigerian elections this weekend.