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Nigerian Crude Export Suffers Setback Over Forcados Loading Delays

Nigerian crude export is taking a hit as loading delays at Nigeria’s Forcados terminal have pushed above two weeks, according to market sources. There is no official new loading programme for June or July released by the terminal’s operators, according to Platts reports on Tuesday.

Flows to the Forcados terminal reportedly resumed last week after repairs were made to correct a minor leak on the Trans-Forcados pipeline. But sources said delays had continued to mount, which had, in turn, impacted the release of a fresh schedule for June or a firm schedule for July.

A tentative rescheduling of the June cargoes has been making the rounds in the market, showing delays of up to two weeks. But trading sources said it seemed unlikely that the new dates would actually hold and actual delays were expected to be longer.

“Forcados is taking a bit of a battering reputationally,” a trader said. “Bigger buyers will always find a home for cargoes even with some uncertainty over cargo loading dates. But value can be affected as more marginal buyers look elsewhere to [minimise] their risk.”

Meanwhile, last Friday, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) said it shut down production following the discovery of leaks on its 24-inch Trans-Ramos Pipeline in the swamps of western Niger Delta.

The pipeline, which supplies crude oil to the Forcados export terminal, has a capacity of around 100,000 barrels per day.

The shutdown of the Trans-Ramos pipeline followed the declaration of force majeure by the oil major on exports of Bonny Light crude, one of the country’s major sources of oil revenue, the previous week.

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