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Exxon Declares Force Majeure on Nigerian Oil Exports

ExxonMobil has declared force majeure on shipments at Nigeria’s largest crude export facility, a company spokesman told Reuters on Friday.

ExxonMobil’s subsidiary Mobil Producing Nigeria declared the force majeure after having observed on Thursday a “system anomaly” during a routine inspection of the loading facility.

ExxonMobil is trying to restore loading at the terminal to its normal level but cannot give specific a timeline, Reuters quoted the spokesman as saying.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for August delivery was up 0.07 percent to $45.71 at 11:20am on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Friday after touching an intraday low of $45.05 earlier today. Brent crude for August delivery was up 0.08 percent to $47.41.

A few days ago, Exxon dismissed claims by militant group Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) that they had blown up the Qua Iboe export facility the oil group operates.

Company spokesman Todd Spitler told Reuters on Friday there was no link between the force majeure and militant attacks in the area.

Exxon has been trying to resume normal production at the Qua Iboe export grade after an accident damaged a pipeline in late May, according to the company.

Niger Delta militancy has been on the rise this year, with NDA insurgents blowing up facilities operated by Shell and Italian Eni. Four major crude export grades—Qua Iboe, Bonny Light, Brass River and Forcados—were under force majeure in late May.

According to Norway’s risk analysis group Bergen Risk Solutions, as many as 65 incidents have been recorded in the region so far this year, compared to 42 incidents in 2015. The growing number of attacks cut Nigeria’s crude oil output to a 30-year low earlier this year.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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