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Saturday, 14 May 2016
Niger Delta Crises: ExxonMobil Joins Shell, Shuts Down Operations As Another Explosion Rocks Chevron Facility in Warri
Sequel to resurgence of militancy in the Niger Delta and a two-week ultimatum by the Niger Delta Avengers for oil companies in the region to shut down operations, Exxon Mobil has reportedly declared force majeure on Qua Iboe crude after an accident the company claimed was not related to militant attacks.
On Thursday, Exxon said a subsea pipeline linking to Qua Iboe was damaged by a drilling rig. Then, early on Friday, unnamed traders cited by both Bloomberg and Reuters claimed that Exxon had declared force majeure on Qua Iboe crude deliveries.
Qua Iboe is Nigeria's largest crude stream. May should have seen some 337,000 barrels per day of Qua Iboe exported this month, according to Reuters.
Exxon has not independently confirmed these reports.
This latest incident adds to the growing amount of crude already offline in Nigeria due to the revival of Niger Delta militancy targeting the oil sector.
So far, according to Bloomberg, attacks have cut output by 600,000-1.4 million barrels per day.
On Wednesday, Royal Dutch Shell declared force majeure on its exports of Bonny Light crude. Shell has been forced to evacuate staff from its Eja OML 79 production facility.
On Monday, Nigerian officials said that Chevron had begun to evacuate staff from its facilities in the Niger Delta follow attacks on its assets. Several Chevron facilities, such as a platform and oil flow station, were attacked by militants last week.
On Thursday, militants vowed to attack Chevron again as the company attempts to repair damage.
Also on Thursday, the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), the group behind the string of attacks, issued a threat to all oil companies in the region to shut down and leave or face stepped up attacks.
In a related development, another explosion has reportedly rocked Chevron Nigeria Limited’s facility in the oil rich Niger Delta on Friday.
The company had in the last few weeks recorded several attacks on its facilities.
Friday’s attack occurred in the Marakaba line operated by the oil firm in Warri, Delta State.
The Nation gathered that unknown persons detonated explosive on oil well head 10 on the Makaraba line.
Sources said Chevron had declared force majeure on the facility since last Wednesday’s attack on the offshore Okan manifold.
Friday’s attack was reportedly masterminded by individuals specifically engaged by contractors to work on damaged oil pipelines in the area.