Royal Dutch Shell Plc lifted restrictions on exports of a key Nigerian crude oil, 472 days after imposing them following militant attacks. The extra flows alone amount to about 20 percent of the supply OPEC has pledged to cut from world markets, Bloomberg reports.
Europe’s biggest oil company ended a force majeure of Forcados crude oil shipments at 4 p.m. London time on Tuesday, a spokesman said. The measure, which allows companies to miss contractual obligations, was imposed on Feb. 21 last year. Shipments this month will average about 250,000 barrels a day, according to a loading program obtained by Bloomberg. The return of Forcados will add more than 10 percent to the country’s output, lifting it toward the 2 million barrels a day mark.
While the return of Forcados may be good news for Nigeria, it however represents a new headache for OPEC and its member countries who are trying to cut output in a bid to bolster prices. The producer club said on May 25 that it will keep its collective output restricted by 1.2 million barrels a day until the end of the first quarter next year. As well as Nigeria, flows from Libya are also jumping. Both countries were exempted from the curbs because of domestic conflicts.