According to Nigerian media, militants used explosives to blow up the Escravos terminals main electricity feed pipeline, rendering the terminal inoperable.
Reuters has also reported that it has received confirmation from company sources that the terminal has been shut down following the attack. Related: Would Regulated Oil Prices, Argentine-Style, Help U.S. Shale?
“It is a crude line which means all activities in Chevron are grounded,” the source told Reuters, without elaborating.
The attack is being attributed to the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), the group responsible for a string of recent attacks on oil installations. Reuters cited a tweet ostensibly put out by the group, claiming responsibility for the Escravos attack.
The Niger Delta Avengers have fiercely stepped up assaults on the likes of Chevron, Shell and Eni in recent weeks. Oil prices have increased over the same time period as the disruptions – combined with the major outages in Canada – have erased the global glut for crude oil. Related: OPEC Head Calls for $65 Oil
Nigeria’s oil production has plunged by 40 percent, falling to just 1.4 million barrels per day, the lowest level in decades
Last week, Italian oil giant Eni declared force majeure after another attack on its AGIP pipeline took oil offline.
Earlier this month, Shell also declared force majeure on its exports of Bonny Light crude, evacuating staff from its Eja OML 79 production facility.
Chevron has also evacuated staff as multiple attacks on its facilities in the Niger Delta.
The first week of May saw militants attack one of Chevron’s offshore platforms, the Okan facility, disrupting 90,000 barrels per day of oil production. The Okan facility, which it operates in conjunction with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., is also a gathering point for production from several fields, so the attack knocked off output from all of them at once.
Nigerian media report that Wednesday’s attack on the Escravos terminal has created a “massive oil spill emanating from the trunk line”. A news agency quoted a local source in the area as saying: “At the moment, the entire creek has been littered with crude oil.”
By James Burgess of Oilprice.com
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