By Udeme Akpan & Adaeze Okechukwu
Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited has officially lifted force majeure on exports of Nigeria’s Forcados crude oil, thus increasing the nation’s oil output by additional 200,000 barrels per day.
Force majeure is a legal declaration, meaning that the operator cannot fulfil a contract due to circumstances outside its control in order escape any liability.
Consequently, the nation’s total production increased from two million bpd to about 2.2. million bpd, the highest in 16 months.
Investigations showed that the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC has started monitoring developments in the nation in order to see the possibility of including Nigeria in its oil output cut before the end of 2017.
Nigeria and Libya were excluded from the cut in May when the organisation met in Vienna, Austria to adopt an action towards achieving stability in the volatile market.
At the end of the meeting, OPEC had indicated in a statement that the conference considered the Secretary General’s report, the report and recommendations made by the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC), supported by the Joint Technical Committee (JTC), which was set-up to monitor conformity to the voluntary production adjustments made by 13 OPEC and 11 non-OPEC nations at the 171st Ministerial Conference in Vienna on 30 November 2016, and the Declaration of Cooperation between OPEC and non-OPEC producers in Vienna on 10 December 2016, the report of the Economic Commission Board, as well as various administrative matters.
It had stated that the conference analysed oil market developments since it last met in Vienna at the end of November and reviewed the oil market outlook for the remainder of 2017.
The organisation had indicated that in line with the decision taken at its 171st Meeting, the Conference decided to extend its production adjustments for a further period of nine months, with effect from 1 July 2017.