Oil giant Shell, bemoans insecurity in the Niger Delta and the ugly trend which has resurfaced despite significant rise in crude oil for the past three months. The International Oil Company (IOC) sees security in the region as a major concern. Shell’s local output averaged 631,000 barrels a day in 2017
Ultimately, oil wells may be flowing again in Nigeria, but the country’s largest operator says attacks continue to put a brake on output making it difficult to attain maximum production.
The General Manager, External Relations, Igo Weli, disclosed that “Security in parts of the Niger Delta remains a major concern with persisting incidents of criminality, kidnapping and vandalism as well as onshore and offshore piracy.” The warning underlines the enduring threat of attacks even as production recovers from a major militant campaign in 2016.
In May, the company declared force majeure on Bonny Light crude shipments following pipeline leaks, while loadings of Forcados exports were also delayed due to vandalism.
Attacks from a resurgent militant group known as Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) on Nigeria’s oil infrastructure in 2016 cut the country’s output to less than 1.4 million barrels a day, the lowest ever in twenty-seven years. Although, there hasn’t been a major attack after intervention from community leaders and government, the security situation in the oil region remains volatile according to the External Relations Manager.
He stated further that “Facilities operated by both indigenous and international oil companies continue to be vandalized by attacks and other illegal activities such as crude-oil theft.” “We are continuing to monitor the situation to mitigate any exposure and minimize risks faced by our personnel.”
In 2017, the multinational pumped an average of 631,000 barrels a day which is about a third of Nigeria’s production. Despite the rally in output, the company still counted sixty cases of sabotage and theft, compared with forty-nine in 2017 and there were ten of such incidents recorded in the first two months of 2018.
Nigeria is scheduled to load at least 1.8 million barrels per day in July which equals the production cap it agreed on with OPEC that took effect in January. It is not clear that since Shell’s production is tampered, if the country will attain OPEC’s output due to attacks and insecurity in the Delta.