By Mike Eboh, with agency report
ABUJA—Shell Nigeria, yesterday, resumed the export of Bonny Light crude oil grade from the Bonny Terminal, almost two months after force majeure was declared on the export of the commodity.
The lifting of the force majeure, according to a statement by the company, is due to the restoration of production into Bonny Terminal, following the repairs of the Nembe Creek Trunk Line.
The company said the lifting of the force majeure took effect from 09:00 a.m. Nigerian time (0800 GMT), yesterday.
Shell had declared the force majeure on Bonny Light exports on May 11, following the closure of the Nembe Creek Trunk line, NCTL, for repairs after a leak.
Meanwhile, global energy data company, Platts, disclosed that Nigeria’s Qua Iboe crude oil grade stood at a $0.90 per barrel premium to Bonny Light, the highest since October 2013.
Platts in a report published yesterday, said the premium had risen as a result of Qua Iboe returning from a month-long force majeure in June and a 30-day ceasefire between the Niger Delta Avengers and the government early in July that restored confidence in the Qua Iboe crude.
The report stated that Qua Iboe had seen strong buying interest since the provisional August programme was released on June 27.
“A number of the grades that are similar in quality to Qua Iboe are currently under force majeure or have production issues and with the ceasefire that was agreed two weeks ago, buyers are keen to get their hands on Qua Iboe,” the report quoted a source as saying.
“We also need to keep in mind that Qua Iboe was not under force majeure because of a militant attack but because of an accident unlike the other grades, which are all out due to sabotage. This does also impact a buyer when considering which crude to source,” a trader explained.
The report noted that during the first half of 2016, Qua Iboe’s premium over Bonny Light ranged between $0.40 per barrel in March and $0.15 per barrel in early May, showing that the current premium is some 50 cents per barrel above this year’s previous high.
According to the report, on average, Qua Iboe exported 9.9 million barrels of crude in 2016, averaging just under 11 cargoes a month, while Bonny Light exported 6.1 million barrels on an average, or around 6.5 cargoes a month, when not under force majeure.