Shell lifts force majeure on Nigeria's Forcados oil - spokeswoman

SEPLAT blames crude oil prices volatility for poor performance

Shell's Forcados Oil Terminal Resumes Operations

The oil price has slipped below $50 (€44.51) a barrel despite a pledge by the world's largest exporters to extend an existing output cut of 1.8m barrels per day into next year in an effort to reduce bulging global inventories.

Royal Dutch Shell has lifted restrictions on exports of Forcados crude, a key Nigerian crude oil grade, whose exports was halted 15 months ago following militant attacks.

"The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) lifted the force majeure on crude oil exports from Forcados Terminal on Tuesday".

OPEC has pledged to cut nearly 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) to help reduce global inventories. Shipments this month will average about 250,000 barrels a day, according to a loading program obtained by Bloomberg.

"In addition to a hard global oil market backdrop our business has had to contend with unprecedented operational challenges due to interruptions and these are reflected in our full year results".

Ministry of Petroleum Resources had on Monday said daily crude and condensate output combined rose to 1.98million b/d compared with 1.85 b/d in April.

At the beginning of June, shipping data from Platts showed that two Suezmax tankers set off from Forcados in the last days of May, in what was seen as a tentative test of the waters, as it were.

The loss of Forcados barrels in 2016 had the single biggest impact on Nigerian oil production out of any grade the country produces. Production from Nigeria last month was at its strongest level since March 2016 and June output could recover even further given the restart of Shell's export arteries.

The news would not make the rest of OPEC happy: global oil prices have stubbornly remained around US$50 a barrel despite an agreement to extend production cuts until the end of March 2018.

While the return of Forcados may be good news for Nigeria, it represents a new headache for OPEC. Let's recall that Nigeria and Libya whose output had been affected by unrest were exempted from the pact.

Since Opec and 11 other non-members, that collectively pump about 60% of the world's oil, agreed to continue curbing output, prices have actually fallen. Brent crude has dropped from $53.96 a barrel on May 24, the day before the extension was announced in Vienna, to trade at $49.95 a barrel as of 10:40 a.m. London time.

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