The CEO of Nigerian oil company Oando says the worst of the west African country’s output disruptions are over as the twice-attacked Forcados pipeline returns to full capacity by the end of June.
National production will touch 2.2 million barrels per day by June as well, Pade Durotoye told reporters at the Africa Independents Forum in London on Wednesday.
"We think that the worst is behind us," he said. "Before the end of June, we will have Forcados back, which would take us comfortably back to 2.2 million bpd."
The first cargo from the 400,000 bpd Forcados export line loaded on the 15th of May, according to EP Mag, though Shell’s force majeure on the facility remains in place.
Separatists operating from the Niger Delta spent the better half of 2016 attacking oil facilities in the region to protest Lagos’ negligent attitude towards the residents of the land used to generate a majority of government revenues. Earlier this year, President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration launched a diplomatic strategy to engage leaders from the Niger Delta in order to find a peaceful solution to the region’s grievances, including the possible legalization of makeshift refineries that currently process stolen oil.
Attacks by groups like the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) and other affiliates have slowed in recent months, allowing to Forcados pipeline to be repaired and oil output to recover. As the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) prepares to review the terms of its November deal that cut output by 1.2 million barrels per day, the bloc may be compelled to revoke Nigeria’s exemption. Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar Al Luaibi made such a suggestion earlier this week, though his Nigerian counterpart said the country would be pursuing another six-month exemption.
“The indications that I have so far is that there is a willingness to extending [the exemption],” Nigerian oil minister Ibe Kachikwu told reporters in Houston. “I expect we will get OPEC exemption but one year from now will it be renewed? I am not too sure.”
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…